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COMMONWEALTH v. CHILENGARIAN (09/11/69)

decided: September 11, 1969.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
CHILENGARIAN, APPELLANT



Appeals from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, Oct. T., 1966, Nos. 290 and 291, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Michael Chilengarian.

COUNSEL

Joseph C. Santaguida, for appellant.

James D. Crawford, Assistant District Attorney, with him Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Spaulding, J.

Author: Spaulding

[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 113]

This is an appeal by Michael Chilengarian, appellant, from a judgment of sentence entered May 20, 1968, by Judge Levin of the Court of Quarter Sessions, Philadelphia County. Appellant, with a co-defendant, Dominick DiFerdinando, was tried without a jury.

On August 12, 1966, appellant and DiFerdinando were arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police after searches made pursuant to warrants issued on that day. State Police Officer Joseph C. Price prepared the affidavit sections of the search warrants and presented them to a Justice of the Peace. The affidavits

[ 215 Pa. Super. Page 114]

    stated that on August 10, 1966, a Mrs. Lea Lindberg called his office, identified herself as an assistant housekeeper at the Holiday Inn Motel in Media, and in cleaning Room 301 she noticed a substance in the ashtray which smelled unusual. The officer took possession of the substance, and had it sent to the State Police Laboratory where an analysis revealed that the ash contained marijuana. The motel register disclosed the make, year, license number, and drivers of a gold colored automobile which Mrs. Lindberg had told the officer she had seen appellant and DiFerdinando driving. The Justice of the Peace then issued search warrants for Room 301 and for the 1966 gold Mercury sedan.

A search of the room and of the car revealed no narcotics, but in the trunk of the car, the officers found three fur coats with the price tags still attached. After a check with Philadelphia police disclosed that the furs were stolen, another warrant was obtained, the furs were seized, and appellant and DiFerdinando were arrested on the instant charges.

Appellant argues that the information presented to the Justice of the Peace in support of the original warrants for the automobile and the room were insufficient under the test of Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108 (1964). Aguilar as explained by Spinelli v. U.S., 393 U.S. 410, 37 L.W. 4110 (1969), indicates that before a magistrate may make a finding of probable cause he must be shown the source of the officer's information, that the source or informant is a reliable one, how the evidence came to the informant, and what independent first hand corroborative facts the officers have which suggest that a crime has been committed. Opinion in support of affirmance, Commonwealth v. Rowe, 433 Pa. 14, 249 A.2d 911 (1969).

Under all the circumstances in this case, we hold that the Justice of the Peace ...


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