State police officers obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s residence from a judge. However, the warrant was invalid as it clearly lacked probable cause. Nonetheless, a search for “intoxicating liquors and instruments and materials used in the manufacture of such liquors” was authorized. A Federal prohibition agent was asked to participate in the search, which he did. During the search, the Federal agent found some counterfeit whiskey stamps, while a State officer found additional counterfeit stamps. The counterfeit stamps were seized and the defendant was arrested.
Whether the counterfeit stamps seized during the execution of the invalid State search warrant was admissible against the defendant in his Federal trial?
No. The seizure of the stamps violated the Fourth Amendment and was inadmissible in the defendant’s Federal prosecution.
he warrant lacked probable cause as required by the Fourth Amendment. An unconstitutional search is not validated by the fact that evidence of a crime is discovered.
273 U.S. 28, 47 S. Ct. 248 (1927)