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Washington v. Manning

filed: May 13, 1996.


Superior Court County: King. Superior Court Cause No: 93-1-04765-3. Date filed in Superior Court: March 14, 1994. Superior Court Judge Signing: John Darrah.

Written by: Becker, J., Concurred by: Cox, J., Grosse, J.

Author: Becker

BECKER, J. -- Freddie Manning appeals his conviction for one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Manning challenges the adequacy of the police application for judicial authorization to intercept and record his conversations. The statement of facts submitted with the application adequately demonstrated that the police had probable cause to believe. Manning was about to commit a felony and that normal investigative procedures were unlikely to succeed. Accordingly, we affirm.


The application for authorization contained the following

facts. In January 1993 an informant previously arrested on drug charges told officers of the Kent Police Department that a person named "Fred", whom he had known for more than a year, contacted him several times offering to purchase large quantities of cocaine. The informant provided the investigating officer, Detective Kellams, with certain identifying information about "Fred", including his race, approximate age, the make of his automobile, the location of his home, his telephone number, and that he carried a semi-automatic pistol. With this information Detective Kellams determined that the person described by the informant was Freddie L. Manning. Detective Kellams conducted several record checks confirming the accuracy of the information about Manning's residence and vehicles. He also learned that Manning had been previously arrested several times, once for carrying a concealed weapon.

A King County police detective told Detective Kellams that during a narcotics unit investigation of Manning eight months earlier, undercover officers had attempted to sell him one kilogram of cocaine. They called off the transaction after lengthy negotiations, in part because they believed it was too dangerous. They knew Manning possessed many firearms and liked to carry a concealed semi-automatic pistol. King County police had also conducted controlled buys of cocaine in small quantities from Manning in August 1992 through the use of a confidential witness.

The informant agreed to cooperate with the police in return for consideration on a pending criminal charge against him, but asked to remain confidential because of his fear of violent retaliation. The officers asked him to introduce an undercover officer to Manning. The informant called Manning and advised him that "Ruben" would be able to "take care of business". The informant gave Manning Ruben's telephone number, which was actually a number for Detective Navarette of the Seattle Police Department's narcotics unit.

Detective Kellams prepared an application for an order to intercept and record conversations with Manning under the authority of the one-party consent statute, RCW 9.73.090(2). After outlining the information obtained from the informant, the application described the proposed course of investigation: police detectives would be having undercover contact with Manning, and would make conversation concerning the sale of cocaine. Investigating officers would use an electronic recording device designed to record telephone conversations. During in-person meetings with Manning, an electronic transmitter would be installed on the detective's body.

After a district court judge approved the application, the police recorded several telephone conversations in which Manning discussed purchasing cocaine. Manning agreed to a meeting. At the meeting, Detective Kellams concealed an electronic transmitter on his body. As planned, Manning gave Detective Kellams approximately $3,000 for four baggies containing over four ounces of cocaine. A surveillance team listened to and recorded the conversations that took place during the meeting. Other officers arrested Manning and recovered cocaine from him.

Pursuant to RCW 9.73.050, Manning moved to suppress the evidence against him as having been obtained in violation of the provisions of RCW 9.73, Washington's Privacy Act. The trial court denied the ...

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