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COMMONWEALTH v. LANIEWSKI (11/14/67)

decided: November 14, 1967.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
LANIEWSKI, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Superior Court, April T., 1966, No. 77, affirming judgment of sentence of Court of Quarter Sessions of Beaver County, Feb. T., 1964, No. 3, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Frank Michael Laniewski.

COUNSEL

John J. Hudacsek, Jr., with him Hudacsek and Lewis, for appellant.

Robert J. Masters, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Roberts concurs in the result. Mr. Justice Musmanno took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: O'brien

[ 427 Pa. Page 457]

This is an appeal from the per curiam order of the Superior Court, affirming the judgment of sentence of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Beaver County. The appellant, Laniewski, was convicted, in 3 separate counts: 1. Under The Penal Code, § 605, 18 P.S. § 4605, for establishing a game or hazard at which money or other valuable thing was bet. 2. Under § 605, 18 P.S. § 4605, for allowing persons to assemble for the purpose of gambling. 3. Under § 607, 18 P.S. § 4607, for bookmaking. Appellant's motions to quash the indictment and to suppress evidence were denied by the trial court. A verdict of guilty on all three counts was returned by the jury, and motions for a new trial and arrest of judgment were denied. Appellant was sentenced to one year and ordered to pay $500 and costs on the

[ 427 Pa. Page 458]

    first two counts, while on the third count (bookmaking) his sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for a year, conditioned on payment of $500 and costs. After affirmance by the Superior Court, we allowed this appeal.

The facts of the case show that a detective sergeant of the State Police was investigating rackets in Beaver County. As a result of information he received from confidential informers and from personal observation, he went before a justice of the peace and made an affidavit under oath asking for a warrant to search the Sports News, a confectionery in Ambridge. By virtue of the warrant issued by the justice of the peace, two other troopers of the State Police went to the Sports News on September 20, 1963, and conducted a search of the premises for numbers, bets, and other lottery paraphernalia.

When the troopers entered there were about six men in the store. The troopers observed a Western Union ticker tape machine in operation, giving baseball scores, and a chalk board listing the baseball games. While the troopers were searching, one trooper answered several phone calls. One caller bet five dollars to win and two dollars across the board on Bandit Beach in the seventh. A horse named Bandit Beach was running at Waterford Park in the seventh race on September 20, 1963. Another telephone call from "George" bet "Drysdale 200 over Veale or Cardwell to win." A baseball schedule for September 20, 1963, showed that the Pittsburgh Pirates were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers. The probable pitchers listed were Cardwell for the Pirates and Drysdale for the Dodgers. Other persons calling asked for lines or odds. All asked for Frank.

The troopers arrested the defendant and proceeded to the Beaver Falls Sub-Station. On the way to the station the defendant was requested to show the troopers the contents of his billfold. In his billfold defendant

[ 427 Pa. Page 459]

    had two slips of paper, which were seized by the troopers as evidence of numerous baseball and ...


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