Motion to suppress evidence denied

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Fountaine Gordon is seen in Houghton County Circuit Court with his attorney, Keith DeForge. A defense motion to suppress evidence in the case was dismissed Monday on a ruling by Judge Charles Goodman.

HOUGHTON — County Circuit Court Judge Charles Goodman denied a motion to suppress evidence in the case of a Green Bay man facing three drug charges.

Fountaine Gordon, 38, was arrested in December after Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team officers reported receiving a tip of suspected drug activity in a room at the Super 8 in Houghton.

Officers executed a search warrant in the room and seized 8 grams of heroin, prescription narcotics and $500 from drug sales, police said.

The manager had called police after being alerted to the presence of Gordon, who had been banned from the Super-8 for not paying a bill in 2014.

Michigan State Police Trooper Jeremy Cleary testified Monday he had seen a woman he believed to be a known drug user leave the room and had smelled a strong marijuana odor coming from the room.

Gordon’s attorney, Keith DeForge, said police had relied heavily upon the word of a confidential informant (CI) who had only second-hand knowledge of the activities in the room. Furthermore, he said, Gordon’s room was on the far end of the hall, near an exit where people would be able to smoke, leaving it unclear if the odor came from his room.

Goodman said the law prohibits warrants from being based only on secondhand knowledge from a confidential informant.

“This affidavit, though, is not based solely upon information provided by the CI,” he said. “That information was simply used by this officer to conduct an independent evaluation and investigation, by virtue of which he corroborated the information provided.”