The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH
Calvin Clark was convicted by a jury of two counts of an indictment charging him with knowingly facilitating the transportation and concealment of 23.8 grams of heroin unlawfully imported into the United States in violation of § 174 of Title 21 U.S.C.; and for knowingly purchasing that narcotic drug other than in or from the original stamped package, in violation of § 4704(a) of Title 26 U.S.C., contrary to § 7237 of Title 26 U.S.C.
At the conclusion of all the evidence, a motion for judgment of acquittal was denied. The defendant timely filed a motion in arrest of judgment, for judgment of acquittal or for a new trial.
The defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to justify the conviction; that the evidence did not establish that the glassine packets from which a portion of the contents was taken and analyzed as heroin, and the glassine packets on which the defendant's fingerprints were developed, were the same glassine packets found by the police officers on March 15, 1967; and that the corpus delicti was not proved. In support of his motion for a new trial he contends that admissions made by the defendant to police officers were inadmissible.
In our opinion, the motions should be denied.
From the evidence, it appears that on March 15, 1967, at about 9:00 o'clock in the evening, two Pittsburgh police officers, Seifer and Williams, were in a police car proceeding south on Dahlem Street in the East Liberty Section of Pittsburgh (T., pp. 19-20, 63-64). The area was covered with a recent snow (T., pp. 26, 31, 70, 426-427). At a point where Railroad Street meets Dahlem, the officers saw the defendant walking on Railroad Street toward Dahlem carrying a bag. Railroad Street is not frequented by pedestrians, and is in an area in which considerable littering had occurred (T., pp. 24, 53, 66). Officer Williams testified that the defendant appeared to be moving and then stopped (T., p. 67).
In these circumstances, the officers decided to "check out" the defendant (T., pp. 24, 67). The car was turned around and driven into Railroad Street, where they again observed the defendant running toward the car without the bag (T., pp. 24-26, 46-47, 54, 66-68). The officers stopped the defendant and asked him what had happened to the bag. The defendant stated that the bag contained sandwiches which he had purchased for his wife, and that he had thrown it away (T., pp. 26-27, 67-69). He also said it contained garbage (T., pp. 36, 50). The officers attempted to find the bag with the aid of the defendant who pointed out the areas where he thought he had thrown it. The search proved to be fruitless, after which the defendant was frisked. Although the officers suspected that the defendant had violated the littering ordinance, since they had failed to find the bag, they did not formally arrest the defendant (T., pp. 27-29, 47-49, 56-57, 69, 194). The defendant then left the area and the officers drove away.
About 10 minutes later the officers returned to the area and undertook another search for the bag. The only footprints in the snow on Railroad Street were those of the officers and the defendant made during the previous encounter (T., pp. 27-28, 31-34, 72-73). By following defendant's footprints in the snow, Officer Seifer found a brown bag, on which there was no snow, lying inside the circle of an abandoned tire (T., pp. 34-35, 58, 73, 75). In the bag were two waxed cartons for milk or juice, each of which contained a transparent plastic bag enclosing numerous glassine packets containing white powder, later identified as heroin (T., pp. 35, 76). The officers took these items to Police Station No. 5 (T., pp. 37, 77). There they counted 347 glassine packets -- 171 packets in one plastic bag and 176 in the other (T., pp. 38, 78). All of the containers were devoid of tax stamps. The desk sergeant at No. 5 Police Station, Raymond Persetic, verified the count (T., pp. 116-117, 120). After receiving the material, he placed it in the drawer of the desk (T., pp. 118, 120).
The next day Officer Diggs was handed a package from the desk of No. 5 Police Station and took it to the Allegheny County Crime Laboratory. There it was received by James Jerpe who tagged it and two plastic bags within it as case number 7281. Mr. Jerpe noted that the plastic bags inside the package contained a large number of small glassine packets containing a white powder; he placed the package in a locked repository (T., pp. 141-143, 147-149, 151-152).
The next day, March 17, 1968, this package was removed from the repository by Mr. Jerpe, Herbert Schuetzman, a chemist, and Charles McInerney, the Director; the latter two counted 176 packets in one bag and 171 in the other (T., pp. 149, 355-356). The chemist selected seven packets at random from each bag (T., p. 365) and analysis revealed that the contents were 60% heroin hydrochloride (T., p. 358).
In our opinion, the corpus delicti was established by the foregoing evidence.
On March 20, 1967, Inspector McDaniel of the Pittsburgh Police obtained 17 glassine packets from case number 7281 (T., p. 184), 12 of which he sent to the FBI Latent Fingerprint Section, Washington, D.C.,
and 5 of which he took to the Pittsburgh Police Identification Section (T., pp. 158-160).
On March 23, 1967, Schuetzman, the chemist, delivered the glassine packets from case number 7281 to federal narcotics agent Mattingly and Inspector McDaniel who together emptied the packets into a bottle prepared by the chemist (Ex. 20; T., pp. 161-163, 359-361).
On March 27, 1967, Inspector McDaniel sent the remaining glassine packets, 308 in number,
to the FBI Latent Fingerprint Section, which packets were subsequently returned to McDaniel in ...