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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant was charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine. At trial, the appellant filed a motion to suppress the fruits of a combination search and arrest warrant that authorized the search of his property and his arrest. His motion to suppress was denied and he pled guilty, reserving his right to appeal. On appeal, the appellant claimed that the trial court erred in denying his motion because there were not specific, credible facts within the four corners of the supporting affidavit that would allow a magistrate to determine that the information in the affidavit was reliable enough to provide a substantial basis for the conclusion that an offense had been committed and that contraband would probably be found at the appellant’s residence. The warrant affidavit stated: “On 03-18-03, at approximately 0400 hrs, Officer Mitchell Westervelt was on patrol in Nocona and drove past residence. Westervelt stated that he could smell a strong chemical odor he has associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine emitting from the residence at 701 Young Street.” The intermediate appellate court noted that “nowhere within the warrant affidavit is there any description of Officer Westervelt’s expertise or experience in recognizing the odor associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.” The court of appeals averred that while “the veracity of an officer is presumed if unchallenged, expertise is not presumed.” The majority concluded that the affidavit was insufficient to support the warrant because it is silent as to Westervelt’s experience, his proximity to the residence other than that he “drove past” it, the length of time he spent outside the residence, or anything else that would show the reliability of his suspicion. Accordingly, the intermediate appellate court remanded for a new trial to be conducted without the evidence that should have been suppressed. HOLDING:Reversed; the verdict of the trial court is reinstated. “On these facts alone, without any other information, the magistrate was authorized to issue the warrant as long as the officer was ‘qualified to recognize the odor.’ That is the only relevant inquiry. At the outset, could the magistrate reasonably have inferred that Westervelt is a trained, commissioned police officer? We think this was a reasonably available inference . . . . “The law requires that we defer to a magistrate’s reasonable, common sense conclusions in assessing whether to issue a search warrant. Appellate courts must allow for any reasonably available inferences and provide magistrates appropriate deference. Today, we have examined the affidavit and conclude that the magistrate has drawn reasonably available inferences in finding that [the warrant affidavit] supplied probable cause.” OPINION:Price, J., delivered the opinion of the court in which Keller, P.J., and Meyers, Womack, Keasler, Hervey, Holcomb and Cochran, J.J., joined. Johnson, J., concurred in the result.

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