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Bomb, drug evidence stays

September 21, 2018

A federal judge has thrown out an effort by a Fort Wayne man accused of selling drugs and keeping bombs and guns inside his apartment to exclude that evidence from his trial.

Shawn M. Bacon argued in court documents filed in July in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne that police used questionable tactics to find probable cause to obtain a warrant to search the High Street apartment.

Investigators conducted separate “controlled buys” in late 2017 in which police used confidential informants and other sources to allegedly buy drugs from Bacon. Drugs were bought in both cases after tipsters told police he was selling methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine and kept guns and other weapons inside the home, according to court documents.

The informants : known to police and searched before the buys : were not the ones who purchased the drugs, argued Bacon’s lawyer, Thomas O’Malley.

Instead, the people who had bought the substances were not searched before or after purchases, raising questions about how the drugs were found as well as information sent to a judge to get a search warrant, a motion to suppress evidence states.

Chief Judge Theresa Springmann rejected that argument in an order issued Wednesday, stating probable cause requires “only a probability or substantial chance that evidence may be found;” not absolute certainty.

“While it is theoretically possible, as the defendant suggests, that the third party middle men obtained the crack cocaine and methamphetamine from a source not inside the High Street residence, it is not likely,” she wrote.

Investigators found at least three bombs, 22 guns, a Taser, a ballistics vest and thousands of rounds of ammunition inside the apartment, police said. They also found marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, ledgers, scales, plastic bags and other paraphernalia, a probable cause affidavit alleges.

Bacon was arrested in December, and a 10-count indictment was handed down in January.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for Oct. 22. His trial is set to begin Nov. 5.

mleblanc@jg.net

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