2009 WI 32
Supreme Court of Wisconsin
REVIEW OF A DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS
Reported at: 311
(Ct. App. 2008-Unpublished)
May 7, 2009
Submitted on Briefs:
November 5, 2008
Source of Appeal:
Dennis P. Moroney
ROGGENSACK, J., concurs (opinion filed).
ZIEGLER and GABLEMAN, JJ., join the concurrence.
For the plaintiff-respondent-petitioner the cause was argued by Michael J. Losse, assistant attorney general, with whom on the briefs was J.B. Van Hollen, attorney general.
defendant-appellant there was a brief by Thomas
E. Hayes, and the Law Offices of
Michael E. Hayes,
2009 WI 32
This opinion is subject to further editing and modification. The final version will appear in the bound volume of the official reports.
IN SUPREME COURT
MAY 7, 2009
David R. Schanker
Clerk of Supreme Court
REVIEW of a decision of the Court of Appeals. Reversed.
¶1 SHIRLEY S. ABRAHAMSON, C.J. The
State seeks review of an unpublished decision of the court of appeals reversing
a judgment of the Circuit Court for
¶2 The single issue on review is whether probable cause existed for issuance of the warrant to search the defendant's residence when the affidavit in support of the search warrant was based in part on statements of an unnamed participant in a police sting. We refer to this participant as Mr. X for ease of discussion. Mr. X is quoted in the affidavit as saying that the cocaine he furnished to a confidential informant (who was cooperating with the police) was supplied by the defendant.
¶3 In deciding whether probable cause exists for the issuance of a search warrant, the reviewing court examines the totality of the circumstances presented to the warrant-issuing commissioner to determine whether the warrant-issuing commissioner had a substantial basis for concluding that there was a fair probability that a search of the specified premises would uncover evidence of wrongdoing.
¶4 We conclude that the affidavit supporting the warrant to search the defendant's residence resting in part on the statements of Mr. X meets the totality of the circumstances test. The warrant-issuing commissioner had a substantial basis for concluding on the totality of the circumstances that there was a fair probability that a search of the specified premises would uncover evidence of wrongdoing. We therefore sustain the warrant-issuing commissioner's determination that probable cause existed for issuance of the warrant in the instant case.
¶5 Having concluded that the warrant to search the defendant's residence was supported by probable cause, we need not decide the other issue the parties address in their briefs to this court, namely whether the "good faith" exception to the exclusionary rule would apply if probable cause did not exist for issuance of the warrant in the instant case.
¶6 Accordingly, we reverse the decision of the court of appeals reversing the circuit court's judgment of conviction and affirm the judgment of conviction.
¶7 We summarize the facts relating to the circuit court's order denying the defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant at the defendant's residence.
¶8 On July 13, 2006, law enforcement officers in the city of
¶9 Officer Correa's seven-page affidavit largely describes a law enforcement operation in which a confidential police informant purchased cocaine from an unnamed individual, referred to herein as Mr. X. Mr. X claimed that he had obtained the cocaine from the defendant. Neither the confidential informant nor any police officer witnessed Mr. X acquire the cocaine from the defendant. In other words, Officer Correa's affidavit contains no affirmative allegation that he, any other law enforcement officer, or the confidential informant cooperating with the police had personal knowledge that the defendant furnished the cocaine to Mr. X, who in turn gave the cocaine to the confidential informant.
¶10 Officer Correa's affidavit sets forth the following assertions of fact, among many others:
· A confidential informant told Officer Correa that within the last 72 hours the confidential informant had spoken with an unnamed individual (Mr. X) who claimed that he could purchase cocaine for the confidential informant from an unnamed third party.
· Officer Correa monitored a telephone call in which the confidential informant called Mr. X and ordered cocaine. Mr. X directed the confidential informant to meet him so that the two could go to the home of the unnamed third party to purchase cocaine.
· Officer Correa provided the confidential informant with money to buy the cocaine. Officer Correa searched the confidential informant's person and automobile for money, drugs, or other contraband before and after the confidential informant met with Mr. X.
· Officer Correa and other law enforcement officers followed the confidential informant's vehicle to a place where the officers observed Mr. X enter the confidential informant's vehicle.
Officer Correa and the other officers followed
the confidential informant and Mr. X to an area near
· A law enforcement officer named Corporal DiTorrice informed Officer Correa that shortly after the informants and law enforcement officers arrived at the area near 205 E. Montana Street, Corporal DiTorrice observed a person later identified as the defendant exit through the front door of 205 E. Montana Street, motion to Mr. X to go towards the alley/garage directly behind 205 E. Montana Street, and then walk towards that alley/garage area himself.
· A law enforcement officer named Detective Dalland informed Officer Correa that he observed Mr. X enter the garage through the open garage door; that after a short while he also observed Mr. X exit the garage and enter the confidential informant's automobile; and that he finally observed the confidential informant and Mr. X drive away and the garage door close.
Corporal DiTorrice informed Officer Correa that
he observed the person later identified as the defendant walk back to the front
· Officer Correa personally observed the confidential informant travel with Mr. X and then let Mr. X out of his car.
· Officer Correa followed the confidential informant to a predetermined location, where he met and spoke with the confidential informant.
The confidential informant told Officer Correa
that Mr. X had entered the confidential informant's automobile and had directed
the confidential informant to drive to the area of
The confidential informant told Officer Correa
that while en route to
· The confidential informant told Officer Correa that when the confidential informant and Mr. X arrived at their destination, Mr. X directed the confidential informant to stay in the car and that the confidential informant gave Mr. X money to buy cocaine.
· The confidential informant told Officer Correa that Mr. X exited the automobile and walked towards the garage behind a tan and brown house.
· The confidential informant told Officer Correa that Mr. X returned to the automobile a short time later and handed the confidential informant a clear sandwich bag containing material which the confidential informant believed to be cocaine.
· The confidential informant turned this sandwich bag over to Officer Correa. The bag contained an off-white, chalky substance which Officer Correa also believed to be cocaine.
· A sample of the material in the bag later tested positive for the presence of cocaine.
· The confidential informant told Officer Correa that Mr. X had referred to the person later identified as the defendant by the name "Jaime."
Officer Correa discovered an active utilities
· The confidential informant told Officer Correa that the defendant drove a Lincoln Navigator.
Officer Correa, within 72 hours prior to signing
his affidavit, personally observed a green Lincoln Navigator parked directly in
The license plate on the green Lincoln Navigator
listed to the defendant, Jaime Romero of
Officer Correa showed the confidential informant
a driver's license photo of the defendant, and the confidential informant
identified the defendant as the person whom the confidential informant observed
exiting the front door of
· Officer Correa believed the confidential informant to be a credible person because Officer Correa knew that the confidential informant had assisted law enforcement officers in purchasing controlled substances on more than three prior occasions and because the confidential informant's assistance had resulted in more than three drug convictions.
¶11 Court Commissioner Barry Slagle authorized the search warrant. The warrant describes the premises to be
¶12 Law enforcement officers executed the search warrant and seized over 147 grams of cocaine from the defendant's residence. The State charged the defendant with the manufacture, distribution, or delivery of more than 40 grams of cocaine as a party to a crime.
¶13 The defendant moved to suppress the evidence seized during execution of the search warrant, arguing that probable cause did not exist for issuance of the warrant. The circuit court denied the defendant's motion.
¶14 After his motion to suppress evidence was denied, the defendant entered a plea of guilty to the crime charged. The circuit court accepted the defendant's plea and rendered a judgment of conviction.
¶15 The defendant appealed from the circuit court's judgment of conviction pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 971.31(10), based on the circuit court's order denying the defendant's motion to suppress evidence. A divided court of appeals reversed the judgment of conviction and remanded the cause to the circuit court.
¶16 A search warrant may issue only on probable cause. Thus we begin by setting forth the standards implicated in our review of probable cause in the context of a warrant for the search of a residence. We then apply these standards to the affidavit in the instant case.
¶17 The United States Supreme Court has adopted a totality of circumstances standard for determining whether probable cause exists in an application for a search warrant. The Court has explained that "the probable cause standard . . . is a practical, nontechnical conception" requiring a court to deal with "the factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent men, not legal technicians, act."
¶18 This court "accord[s] great deference to the warrant-issuing judge's determination of probable cause, and that determination will stand unless the defendant establishes that the facts are clearly insufficient to support a finding of probable cause." This "deferential standard of review is appropriate to further the Fourth Amendment's strong preference for searches conducted pursuant to a warrant."
¶19 The task of the warrant-issuing commissioner "is simply to make a practical, common-sense decision whether, given all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit . . . , including the 'veracity' and 'basis of knowledge' of persons supplying hearsay information, there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place."
¶20 The veracity of a hearsay declarant and the basis of the
declarant's knowledge are "highly relevant in determining the value of his
report" but "these elements should [not] be understood as entirely
separate and independent requirements to be rigidly exacted in every
¶21 To demonstrate a declarant's veracity, facts must be brought to the warrant-issuing officer's attention to enable the officer to evaluate either the credibility of the declarant or the reliability of the particular information furnished. A declarant's credibility is commonly established on the basis of the declarant's past performance of supplying information to law enforcement. Even if a declarant's credibility cannot be established, the facts still may permit the warrant-issuing officer to infer that the declarant has supplied reliable information on a particular occasion. The reliability of the information may be shown by corroboration of details; this corroboration may be sufficient to support a search warrant. If a declarant is shown to be right about some things, it may be inferred that he is probably right about other facts alleged.
¶22 To demonstrate the basis of a declarant's knowledge, facts must be revealed to the warrant-issuing officer to permit the officer to reach a judgment whether the declarant had a basis for his or her allegations that evidence of a crime would be found at a certain place. The basis of a declarant's knowledge is most directly shown by an explanation of how the declarant came by his or her information. The basis of a declarant's knowledge also may be shown indirectly. The wealth of detail communicated by a declarant, for example, may be sufficient to permit an inference that the basis of the declarant's knowledge is sound.
¶23 The veracity and basis of knowledge of a declarant are relevant whether the declarant communicates directly to the police or indirectly through another. Any declarant is a "person supplying hearsay information," and his or her veracity and the basis of his knowledge accordingly are within the totality of the circumstances relevant to the probable cause determination. It would make little sense for the veracity of a declarant or the basis of the declarant's knowledge to be relevant to the probable cause determination when law enforcement officers obtain information directly from the declarant yet not relevant to the probable cause determination when officers obtain information from the declarant indirectly through another declarant. The extent to which a search warrant's supporting affidavit must demonstrate the veracity and basis of knowledge of a declarant may vary depending on the circumstances specific to each case.
¶24 We reject the State's offer of a bright-line rule, namely that for
purposes of an affidavit for a search warrant law enforcement officers
"are not required to validate [the] reliability of a reliable informant's
source" in attempting to demonstrate probable cause for the issuance of a
search warrant. The State relies on State v. McAttee,
2001 WI App 262, 248
¶25 These sentences should not be taken out of context. The officers in McAttee (who arrested McAttee with probable cause but without a warrant) relied on the statements of a reliable confidential source about what other persons had told her about the crime. The reliable confidential source in McAttee (who was not present at the scene of the crime) provided the police with detailed information about her various sources supporting their veracity and the basis of their knowledge. This detailed information provided corroboration. Furthermore, the law enforcement officers had independent corroboration of the reliable confidential source's statements. The State's brief in McAttee correctly argued that "police had reasonable grounds to credit both the veracity and basis of knowledge of the persons supplying hearsay information." Finally, if McAttee were interpreted as the State requests, McAttee would silently reverse several other cases, which the court of appeals does not have the power to do.
¶26 The McAttee decision does not create a bright-line rule that
probable cause may be established without considering the reliability of the
source of a reliable confidential informant.
We agree with the court of appeals that the State's reliance on McAttee
is misplaced. The court of appeals explained that "
¶27 In sum, a reviewing court must conclude that the totality of the circumstances demonstrates that the warrant-issuing commissioner had a substantial basis for concluding that there was a fair probability that a search of the specified premises would uncover evidence of wrongdoing.
¶28 We examine the affidavit in light of the defendant's arguments that the affidavit is insufficient to establish probable cause.
¶29 In the instant case a confidential informant told a law enforcement officer what someone else had told him. In such a case, the veracity of each person in the chain is relevant. The defendant, in challenging the warrant-issuing commissioner's probable cause determination, does not contest the veracity of the confidential informant or the basis of his knowledge. Rather, the defendant challenges the veracity of Mr. X.
¶30 The defendant thus focuses on the statements in the affidavit attributed to Mr. X, particularly Mr. X's claim to have purchased cocaine from the defendant. The defendant contends that the affidavit sets forth no basis for finding Mr. X credible or for finding reliable Mr. X's statement that the defendant furnished the cocaine.
¶31 The defendant points out that the affidavit does not state that the confidential informant or any law enforcement officer observed the alleged transaction between Mr. X and the defendant; does not state that the confidential informant or any law enforcement officer observed the defendant enter the garage where the drug transaction purportedly occurred; does not identify Mr. X or describe Mr. X's relationship to the defendant or to the confidential informant; and does not state that either law enforcement officers or the confidential informant knew Mr. X's identity.
¶32 We agree with the defendant that Officer Correa's affidavit is heavily dependent upon the veracity of Mr. X. We also agree with the defendant that although the affidavit describes Mr. X as representing that he had purchased cocaine in a garage behind the defendant's residence from a person later identified as the defendant, the affidavit does not show that any person other than Mr. X witnessed any part of this alleged drug transaction between Mr. X and the defendant. Neither the confidential informant nor any law enforcement officer directly witnessed any criminal activity in the defendant's garage or any criminal activity involving the defendant.
¶33 We also acknowledge that information concerning Mr. X is sparse indeed. Officer Correa's affidavit does not furnish Mr. X's name and does not describe Mr. X's relationship with either the confidential informant or the defendant.
¶34 Nevertheless we conclude that Officer Correa's affidavit passes muster as support for the warrant issued to search the defendant's residence. Reliance on information provided to a confidential informant by a participant in a crime has been approved by several courts even in the absence of constant visual contact with the participant conducting the transaction. Facts set forth in the affidavit demonstrate Mr. X's veracity to a degree sufficient to show, considering the totality of the circumstances presented to the warrant-issuing commissioner, that the commissioner had a substantial basis for concluding that there was a fair probability that a search would uncover evidence of wrongdoing at the defendant's residence.
¶35 First, the affidavit tends to establish the reliability of the information that Mr. X imparted (and thus Mr. X's veracity) by showing that law enforcement officers were able to corroborate some of Mr. X's assertions prior to seeking the warrant. It is established that "[i]ndependent police corroboration of [an] informant's information imparts a degree of reliability to unverified details." In the present case, Mr. X predicted that a person would be waiting to meet him near the defendant's residence, that this person was named "Jaime," and that Jaime would supply cocaine to Mr. X. Law enforcement officers corroborated these assertions when they observed the defendant, Jaime Romero, emerge from the front door of his residence, motion to Mr. X to go toward the alley/garage directly behind the defendant's residence, and then proceed toward that area himself. The law enforcement officers verified that Jaime Romero lived at that address and that the substance Mr. X claimed he got from Jaime was in fact cocaine.
¶36 Second, the affidavit tends to establish Mr. X's credibility (and thus his veracity) by describing numerous statements that Mr. X made against his penal interest. When a declarant makes statements against his penal interest that are closely related to the criminal activity being investigated, under circumstances providing the declarant with no apparent motive to speak dishonestly, such statements may be taken as establishing the declarant's credibility and thus his veracity.
¶37 In the present case, Mr. X's statements against his penal interest were made under circumstances permitting an inference of credibility and thus veracity. Mr. X's statements inculpated both himself and the defendant in the same crimea drug transaction occurring in a garage behind the defendant's residenceand related very closely to the State's allegation that the defendant possessed cocaine in his home. Moreover, the facts asserted in Officer Correa's affidavit do not suggest that Mr. X had any motive to falsely inculpate the defendant when speaking to the confidential informant, who had presented himself to Mr. X as nothing other than a purchaser of unlawful narcotics.
¶38 Although a person should not be deemed trustworthy merely because he admits that he is a criminal, under the proper circumstances "the credibility of an informant, for the purpose of finding probable cause, is established by the fact that his or her statement is against his or her penal interest." In the present case nothing would alert the warrant-issuing commissioner that Mr. X had a motive to falsely accuse the defendant. Nothing in the affidavit would alert the warrant-issuing commissioner that Mr. X would get anything from law enforcement in return for asserting that he could get and did get cocaine from the defendant.
¶39 "[S]tatements against penal interests may be used to establish reliability even when the declarant is not aware that the listener is a police officer." Indeed, the case can be made that a declarant's unwitting participation in a police sting serves to bolster his credibility. Professor LaFave, for example, contends that "as a general proposition there is more reason to rely upon [admissions made to a confidential informant] than admissions made directly to police, for in the latter situation there is always the chance that the informer is a stoolie who perceives he can admit to criminality without significant risk."
¶40 We agree with the defendant that Officer Correa's affidavit does not conclusively rule out the hypothesis that Mr. X implemented a ruse for the purpose of fooling the confidential informant into believing that Mr. X was obtaining cocaine from the defendant when it fact he already had obtained it from another source. Arguably, the inference that Mr. X tricked the confidential informant in this manner might be a reasonable one.
¶41 Nevertheless, "[t]he test is not whether the inference drawn [by the warrant-issuing commissioner] is the only reasonable inference. The test is whether the inference drawn is a reasonable one." The warrant-issuing commissioner's inference from the affidavit that Mr. X got the cocaine from the defendant is reasonable.
* * * *
¶42 In deciding whether probable cause exists for the issuance of a search warrant, the reviewing court examines the totality of the circumstances presented to the warrant-issuing commissioner to determine whether the warrant-issuing commissioner had a substantial basis for concluding that there was a fair probability that a search of the specified premises would uncover evidence of wrongdoing.
¶43 We conclude that the affidavit supporting the warrant to search the defendant's residence resting in part on the statements of Mr. X meets the totality of the circumstances test. The warrant-issuing commissioner had a substantial basis for concluding on the totality of the circumstances that there was a fair probability that a search of the specified premises would uncover evidence of wrongdoing. We therefore sustain the warrant-issuing commissioner's determination that probable cause existed for issuance of the warrant in the instant case.
¶44 Accordingly, we reverse the decision of the court of appeals reversing the circuit court's judgment of conviction and affirm the judgment of conviction.
By the Court.The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed.
¶45 PATIENCE DRAKE ROGGENSACK, J. (concurring). The majority opinion affirms the conviction of Jaime Romero for the manufacture, distribution or delivery of more than 40 grams of cocaine, party to the crime, contrary to Wis. Stat. § 961.41(1m)(cm)4. and § 939.05 (2005-06). I agree with this conclusion.
¶46 I write separately for two reasons: (1) I conclude that the majority opinion could be read, mistakenly, as re-establishing a rigid two-prong test for evaluating the sufficiency of the allegations in a warrant affidavit, similar to the test employed in Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108 (1964). The United States Supreme Court set aside Aguilar in Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983), when Gates established the totality of the circumstances approach for assessing the sufficiency of the information provided to obtain a search warrant. (2) I conclude that the majority opinion could be read, mistakenly, as requiring a determination of the veracity, i.e., truthfulness, of a person who is not a known confidential informant, here Mr. X, rather than assessing the reliability of Mr. X's statements through a common sense interpretation of the record before the magistrate. Accordingly, I respectfully concur.
¶47 This case turns on whether the search warrant issued for Romero's home was based on sufficient evidence to show that probable cause existed that evidence of wrongdoing would be found therein. The evidentiary record to support the search warrant consists of the affidavit of Officer Miguel Correa. His affidavit incorporates hearsay from a known confidential informant, which includes hearsay statements from Mr. X, who was not a confidential informant. Officer Correa also based his affidavit on observations of law enforcement that were present at the scene of what turned out to be a controlled buy of cocaine from Romero.
A. Standard of Review
¶48 We accord great deference to a magistrate's decision to issue a
search warrant. Gates, 462
B. Sufficiency of the Affidavit
1. General principles
¶49 An affidavit to support a search warrant may be based on
hearsay. Jones v. United States,
¶50 In the 19 years immediately prior to Gates, the United
States Supreme Court interpreted the Fourth Amendment's requirement of a
"substantial basis" to support probable cause to issue a search
warrant under a "two-prong test," established in Aguilar, for
occasions when the affiant did not have personal knowledge of the facts
asserted in the affidavit. Both prongs
of the Aguilar test had to be satisfied before probable cause to issue a
warrant was established. Aguilar,
¶51 The veracity of the information prong of the Aguilar test
did not require two determinationsone
for the credibility (sometimes referred to as the veracity) of the informant
and one for the reliability of his information.
Rather, it could be satisfied by determining "either the
inherent credibility of the informant [i.e., his truthfulness,] or the
reliability of his information on this particular occasion." 2
¶52 In Gates, the United States Supreme Court abandoned the
formalistic two-prong test of Aguilar and determined that the
"totality-of-the-circumstances approach is far more consistent with our
prior treatment of probable cause than is any rigid demand that specific
'tests' be satisfied by every informant's tip." Gates, 462
¶53 The Court in Gates explained that one of its reasons for
abandoning the two-pronged test of Aguilar was because the two prongs
had been analyzed independently, rather than as potential parts of the totality
of the circumstances that a court should review in determining the reliability
of the information upon which the affiant sought a search warrant.
¶54 We have employed the approach of Gates, as we must for the
Fourth Amendment, but we also employ the Gates approach in ascertaining
whether the guarantees of Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution
have been preserved. Anderson,
¶55 As the Supreme Court stepped away from the rigidity of the
two-prong test of Aguilar, it provided suggestions that could assist a
court in assessing the reliability of the information presented in an application
for a search warrant. The Supreme Court
instructed that if the veracity, i.e., truthfulness, of an informant was known
to law enforcement due to past interactions, that was significant evidence of
the reliability of the information currently provided. See Gates, 462
¶56 When the information relayed by a confidential informant to law
enforcement contains factual assertions obtained from a person unknown to law
enforcement, the confidential informant's veracity, i.e., truthfulness, is
established by evidence that he has provided reliable information to law
enforcement in the past. State v.
Reed, 156 Wis. 2d 546, 555, 457 N.W.2d 494 (Ct. App. 1990); see
also State v. McAttee, 2001 WI App 262, ¶11, 248 Wis. 2d 865, 637 N.W.2d 744 (concluding
that in assessing whether there was probable cause to arrest based on
information provided by a known confidential informant, the first question is
whether law enforcement was entitled to rely on the confidential informant's
statement). Furthermore, in the context
of determining whether probable cause to arrest exists, the hearsay statements
of one unknown to law enforcement, which are relayed by a known confidential
informant, may be relied upon "without independently determining the
reliability of the informant's source or the source's information." McAttee, 248
2. Application of Gates/Anderson
¶57 The information that was supplied by the confidential informant in the case now before us was provided by one whom law enforcement knew to be truthful. The confidential informant had provided tips about drug trafficking on more than three occasions. All of those tips had proved reliable. Therefore, all of the facts asserted by the confidential informant based on his own knowledge pass muster under Gates and Anderson as reliable information. Our major focus, then, is on the statements attributed to Mr. X as repeated by the confidential informant.
¶58 The confidential informant said that he contacted Mr. X, who
said he could get cocaine from an unnamed person. The confidential informant communicated this
to law enforcement, who provided buy-money for a controlled buy of
cocaine. The confidential informant said
he picked up Mr. X, who told the confidential informant to drive to
¶59 Law enforcement observed Mr. X exit the confidential
informant's automobile and an unnamed Hispanic male come out of the front door
¶60 The confidential informant said that when Mr. X re-entered his vehicle, Mr. X gave the confidential informant a clear sandwich bag that contained a white powdery substance, which the confidential informant subsequently gave to law enforcement. Law enforcement determined that the substance was cocaine. Law enforcement also corroborated through various official records that the defendant, Jaime Romero, resided at 205 East Montana Street; that Romero matched the physical description of the unidentified Hispanic male law enforcement observed at 205 East Montana Street; and that all of the events set out in the affidavit had occurred within the last 72 hours.
¶61 The facts supplied by Mr. X are: (1) the supplier of the cocaine was named
"Jaime"; (2) Jaime had cocaine to sell at
C. Majority Opinion
¶62 The term, "veracity," can be understood in more than one
way. Veracity can be understood as
referring to: (1) a person's general
propensity for truthfulness; or (2) the reliability of the information a person
provided on a particular occasion. Aguilar,
¶63 For example, the majority opinion states, "Facts set forth in
the affidavit demonstrate Mr. X's veracity to a degree sufficient to show,
considering the totality of the circumstances presented to the warrant-issuing
commissioner, that the commissioner had a substantial basis for concluding that
there was a fair probability that a search would uncover evidence of wrongdoing
at the defendant's residence." The majority opinion, repeatedly, does not
distinguish between the "veracity of Mr. X" and the reliability
of his information. However, a determination of Mr. X's
veracity, i.e., his truthfulness, was not necessary to the sufficiency of the
affidavit that was presented to the magistrate.
¶64 It is important to keep in mind that a court's review of a
magistrate's decision is confined to the record before the magistrate when he
issued the search warrant. Reed,
¶65 Mr. X may be a person who generally is not truthful. The magistrate had no way of knowing, nor do we. Rather, the magistrate was to interpret the reliability of the information Mr. X provided as part of a common sense interpretation of the totality of the circumstances set forth in Officer Correa's affidavit. He did so.
¶66 Because the majority opinion may be read, mistakenly, as requiring a finding of both the veracity, i.e., truthfulness, of Mr. X and the reliability of the information he provided before a search warrant may issue, I respectfully concur. I do so in order to set aside any potential misunderstanding that Mr. X's general propensity for truthfulness is necessary to the conclusions reached in the majority opinion, which I join.
¶67 I am authorized to state that Justices ANNETTE KINGSLAND ZIEGLER and MICHAEL J. GABLEMAN join this concurrence.
 State v. Romero, No. 2007AP1139-CR, unpublished slip op. (Wis. Ct. App. Mar. 18, 2008).
 All subsequent references to the Wisconsin Statutes are to the 2005-06 version unless otherwise indicated.
 The record and the decision of the court of appeals refer to this participant as an "unwitting," apparently meaning a person who provides information to law enforcement but who does so unwittingly, that is, without the intent to provide information to law enforcement or the knowledge that he or she is doing so.
The participant in the present case is distinguished
from a citizen informer who by happenstance finds himself or herself in the
position of a victim of or a witness to criminal conduct and relates the matter
to the police. 2
a discussion of the good faith exception under Article I, Section 11 of the
Wisconsin Constitution, see State v. Eason, 2001 WI 98, ¶3, 245
 Officer Correa did not, of course, have an opportunity to search Mr. X at any time.
 Wisconsin Stat. § 971.31(10) provides in full that "[a]n order denying a motion to suppress evidence or a motion challenging the admissibility of a statement of a defendant may be reviewed upon appeal from a judgment of conviction notwithstanding the fact that such judgment was entered upon a plea of guilty."
 State v. Kerr,
See also State v. Kerr, 181
 State v. Kerr,
 State v. Kerr,
When addressing whether probable cause for the
issuance of a search warrant existed, this court is "confined to the
record that was before the warrant-issuing commissioner." Kerr, 181
 State v. Kerr,
 The United States Supreme
Court in Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1982), adopted the
totality of the circumstances test in place of the rigidly applied two-prong
test in Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108 (1964) and Spinelli v. United
States, 393 U.S. 410 (1969). See
State v. Richardson, 156
 2 LaFave, supra note 3, § 3.3(a), at 100.
 State v. Reed, 156
 2 LaFave, supra note 3, § 3.3(a), at 101.
word "reliability" is put to different uses in the case law. The standard practice, which we employ here,
is to consider the reliability of information supplied on a particular occasion
as a component part of a declarant's "veracity." See
not surprising that the courts are inconsistent in their use of the term
"reliability." As we have stated,
the Gates Court held that the concepts of "veracity,"
"reliability," and "basis of knowledge" are "closely
intertwined" and serve simply to "illuminate the commonsense,
practical question whether there is 'probable cause' to believe that contraband
or evidence is located in a particular place." Gates, 462
 Lopez, 207
 2 LaFave, supra note 3, § 3.3(a), at 100.
 See Illinois v.
 State v. Kerr,
See also United States v.
Satterwhite, 980 F.2d 317, 322 (5th Cir. 1992) ("Where an informant's
report is not based on personal knowledge, but rather on the information of a
second individual, we must determine whether a substantial basis exists for
crediting the second individual's information."); People v. Pate,
878 P.2d 685, 690 n.10 (
 Brief and Appendix of
 State v. McAttee, 2001
WI App 262, ¶¶12, 14, 248
In these sentences, the McAttee court speaks of a declarant's "reliability" when we and other cases would refer to the declarant's "veracity." As we explain at note 16, supra, this distinction in terminology does not reflect a substantive difference in the analytical framework.
 The reliable confidential
informant's sources were identified as family members of the defendant,
one of whom also was the confidential informant's best friend and all of whom
inculpated the defendant in the same murder.
 McAttee, 248
 State's brief to the
court of appeals at 20 (citing State v. Falbo, 190
 See, e.g., State
v. Lopez, 207
 State v. Romero,
No. 2007AP1139-CR, unpublished slip op.,
 State v. McAttee,
2001 WI App 262, 248
 State v. Anderson,
 The defendant does not challenge the basis of Mr. X's knowledge. Mr. X purported to pass on first-hand information to the confidential informant, that is, Mr. X's personal knowledge that the defendant supplied the cocaine.
 See United States v. Artez, 389 F.3d 1106, 1112-13 (10th Cir. 2004), and cases cited therein.
 State v. Jones, 2002 WI
App 196, ¶15, 257
See also Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 244-45 (1983) ("It is enough, for purposes of assessing probable cause, that corroboration through other sources of information reduced the chances of a reckless or prevaricating tale, thus providing a substantial basis for crediting the hearsay." (quotation marks, brackets, and citation omitted)).
 See 2 LaFave, supra note 3, § 3.3(c), at 143-44 ("[W]hether the admission is by a secondary source or by an informant speaking directly to the police, it must appear that the declaration against penal interest has a sufficient nexus to the information critical to the probable cause determination. . . . What is needed is a showing that the informant's statements against his own penal interest were closely related to the criminal activity for which probable cause to arrest or search is being established . . . ." (quotation marks and footnote omitted)).
See also United States v. Jackson, 818 F.2d 345, 349 (5th Cir. 1987) (concluding that an informant's self-incriminating statements provided "no significant indicia of [the informant's] reliability as to the charges he [made] against [the defendant]" because the informant's "information regarding [the defendant's] participation is not the part of the [informant's] confession that primarily incriminate[d] [the informant]" and because "[the informant's] inculpation of [the defendant] could reasonably be viewed as an attempt to curry favor and receive more lenient treatment from police officials"); United States v. Miller, 753 F.2d 1475, 1480 (9th Cir. 1985) (rejecting "the contention that [an informant's] statements could be credited because they were against his penal interest" on the ground that "the affidavit does not show any nexus between [the informant's] statements and the criminal activity occurring" on the property subject to a search warrant in that case); Galgano v. State, 248 S.E.2d 548, 550 (Ga. Ct. App. 1978) (concluding that under circumstances in which "there is no connection . . . between the information provided by [an] informant and the prior criminal activity to which [the informant] confesse[s]," the informant's admission of criminal activity "damages rather than supports his credibility.").
 See 2 LaFave, supra note 3, § 3.3(c), at 134 ("[A] person's statement against his penal interest carries with it an indicia of reliability if it may also be said that the statement was made under circumstances when he would have no reason to lie." (citing and quoting Dutton v. Evans, 400 U.S. 74 (1970) (quotation marks omitted)).
 See 2 LaFave, supra note 3, § 3.3(c), at 134 ("Unquestionably, the admission-against-penal-interest concept should not be applied in such a casual fashion that criminals are thereby deemed more credible than disinterested 'citizen-informers,' for this would turn established Fourth Amendment doctrine on its head.").
v. Anderson, 138
 State v. Anderson,
 2 LaFave, supra note 3, § 3.3(c), at 142-43.
See also United States v. Castillo, 866 F.2d 1071, 1077-78 (9th Cir. 1988) (concluding that an affidavit provided a substantial basis for crediting a hearsay statement because the declarant "was not aware that [the person to whom he spoke] was a DEA agent and had no apparent reason to give him false information . . ."); State v. Gunwall, 720 P.2d 808, 818 (Wash. 1986) (concluding that a declarant was credible because she made several statements against her penal interest to undercover officers whom she "had no reason to view . . . as anyone other than private citizens").
 State v. Ward,
2000 WI 3, ¶30, 231
 Majority op., ¶1.
 It is the totality of
the circumstances approach that we employ in ascertaining whether the
guarantees of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and of
Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution are observed when a search
warrant is issued. State v. Anderson,
 The majority opinion employs this shorthand, so I do as well. Majority op., ¶9.
 It appears that Mr. X did not realize he was providing information to an informant for law enforcement when he spoke with the confidential informant.
 See, e.g., majority op., ¶¶32, 34-36.