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Appellate court affirms Jackson County District court decision

JACKSON -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals filed an opinion Tuesday affirming a decision made by the Jackson County District Court regarding a man accused of first-degree methamphetamine manufacture.

Daniel Paul Daberkow challenged the district court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence seized by investigating officers, arguing that the court erred in concluding the evidence supporting his conviction would have been inevitably discovered. The appellate court's opinion states the district court made the right decision in the eyes of the law.

According to documents filed by the appellate court, when Daberkow went with a group of people to pick up an abandoned vehicle in May of 2006, police arrived at the scene. After another person in the group admitted to being under the influence of a controlled substance, Daberkow was patted down and a film canister of illegal drugs was allegedly found in his pocket.

He was questioned and allegedly admitted to purchasing pseudoephedrine pills and participating in the manufacture of meth. Based on his admissions, authorities obtained a search warrant for his residence. He was charged with three felonies the following day in Jackson County. He was also charged in Cottonwood County for fifth-degree drug possession based on the substance found in his pocket.

Daberkow moved to suppress the evidence in Cottonwood County District Court and the court granted the motion, finding that police did not have probably cause to believe he had committed a crime when he was arrested during the roadside investigation. But when he tried the same argument in Jackson County, stating that evidence obtained during the interrogation and the search of residence were tainted, the state argued other evidence had been obtained through an independent source.

Earlier that month, a pharmacist reported to the police chief in Lakefield that Daberkow had purchased a large quantity pseudoephedrine pills at several Jackson County pharmacies in the past two months. Daberkow's friend, who lived with him, had also purchased pills, the pharmacist stated.

Several days later, the manager of a pharmacy in Cottonwood County notified law enforcement that she believed an individual had been purchasing pseudoephedrine pills using two different names. When shown Daberkow's drivers license photo, she confirmed Daberkow had made the purchases, a fact the pharmacy log corroborated. Another pharmacist advised Windom police Daberkow had purchased pills, and had "seemed really nervous." Upon contacting another pharmacy in the area to warn about Daberkow's suspicious behavior, the Windom pharmacist was told Daberkow was there at the time, attempting to purchase pseudoephedrine.

Windom police determined that Daberkow purchased at least 24.12 grams of pseudoephedrine between April 15 and May 9, 2006. The legal limit in a 30 day period is six grams.

A Jackson County deputy had received reports of heavy traffic at night at Daberkow's residence which indicated to him that drug trafficking or manufacturing was likely occurring.

The investigation was still continuing when Daberkow was arrested on May 18, 2006 for possession of a film canister containing illegal drugs.

In November 2008, Daberkow agreed to a trial on stipulated facts, preserving the suppression issue for appeal. He was found guilty of first-degree manufacture of a controlled substance.

The opinion filed Tuesday states, "It is undisputed that police officers in two different counties began investigating Daberkow's purchases of pseudoephedrine pills before (his) arrest."

Support for the district courts findings, the opinion states, was ample, and there was a reasonable probability that evidence of meth manufacturing at Daberkow's residence would have been discovered.