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UNITED STATES v. SALA

October 1, 1962

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Frank SALA and Codie Simpson, Jr



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUMBAULD

ADJUDICATION

Defendants, indicted under 26 U.S.C. § 5604(a)(1) for transporting distilled spirits not properly stamped (an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $ 10,000.00 or 5 years imprisonment, or both; and hence a felony), have filed motions to suppress as evidence some forty (40) gallons of distilled spirits seized by Alcohol Tax agents and taken from a motor vehicle driven by defendant Sala. After hearing evidence and argument of counsel, and Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:

 Findings of Fact

 1. On May 7, 1962, Alcohol Tax agents observed a red panel truck owned by a known moonshiner stationed at a locality on a dead-end street, Oak Avenue, in East Pittsburgh Borough, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

 2. On that occasion defendant Simpson arrived in a Ford and assisted the known moonshiner in unloading cartons from the truck and taking them into the basement of the building.

 3. While the cartons were being carried into the building, the agents could hear the sound of jugs clinking together, with the sound customarily associated with filled containers rather than that of empty containers.

 4. On May 15, 1962, the date of the events involved in the instant case, the agents saw the same truck stationed at the same spot. On this occasion, however, the known moonshiner was not present, but the truck was driven by defendant Sala.

 5. The agents observed defendant Simpson arrive in another vehicle. This vehicle was later found to contain empty jugs.

 6. After defendant Simpson came to the scene, the agents saw the truck driven by defendant Sala change its position and drive up to where defendant Simpson was standing.

 7. Defendants Sala and Simpson were observed engaged in conversation with each other. During this conversation, the agents moved on foot toward the truck.

 9. Upon arriving, after having made these observations, at the place where the defendants were engaged in conversation, one of the agents displayed his credentials and said 'Federal officers'.

 10. Upon hearing these words spoken, defendant Simpson fled down the street and was pursued by the agent who had displayed his credentials and identified the agents as federal officers.

 11. The agent in pursuit of defendant Simpson apprehended and arrested him at a point some distance away from the two motor vehicles involved, and ...


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