LONNIE JONES A/K/A LONNIE JONES, JR. APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 05/02/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. CLAIBORNE MCDONALD.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
GEORGE T. HOLMES.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
LISA L. BLOUNT JOSEPH SCOTT HEMLEBEN.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: HALDON J. KITTRELL.
IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
Lonnie Jones was convicted of possession of synthetic
cannabinoids with intent to distribute. He was also convicted
of child endangerment based on the presence of his
four-year-old daughter in the home with the drugs. On appeal,
Jones contends that the search warrant for his residence was
issued without probable cause and that his convictions are
unsupported by sufficient evidence. We find no merit to these
contentions, and so we affirm.
Search Warrant/Probable Cause
The search warrant for Jones's residence stemmed from a
police search for guns, magazines, and ammunition stolen in a
local burglary approximately five days before. The warrant
was issued based on an affidavit from a police investigator
that stated a woman, Jessica Cochran, had been suspected of
taking the guns based on her having been in the residence
prior to their being stolen. The affidavit further noted that
a "concerned citizen" had told a deputy that
Cochran had said she took the guns to Jones's residence.
A separate "proven confidential source" had told a
different investigator that Jones was in possession of stolen
guns at his residence.
When the authorities executed the search warrant, they saw
Jones toss a camera bag behind a couch he had been sitting
on. A search of the camera bag revealed two small bags of
synthetic marijuana, other small plastic bags, and a digital
scale. The authorities found other drug paraphernalia in
plain view, as well as four more small bags of synthetic
marijuana in a pillowcase on Jones's bed. According to
the officers, the bags fell out of the pillowcase when the
bed was searched.
On appeal, Jones contends that the warrant was not supported
by probable cause because it was based on accounts of
confidential informants. The relevant test was outlined by
the United States Supreme Court in Illinois v.
Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 238 (1983), as follows:
The task of the issuing magistrate is simply to make a
practical, common-sense decision whether, given all the
circumstances set forth in the affidavit before him,
including the "veracity" and "basis of
knowledge" of persons supplying hearsay information,
there is a fair probability that contraband or ...