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COMMONWEALTH v. ADAMS (06/24/75)

decided: June 24, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
ADAMS, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, No. 2502 C.D. of 1973, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Martin Cleveland Adams.

COUNSEL

Sanford A. Krevsky, Assistant Public Defender, and Richard D. Walker, Public Defender, for appellant.

Richard A. Lewis and Marion E. MacIntyre, Deputy District Attorneys, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Jacobs, J. Cercone, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Jacobs

[ 234 Pa. Super. Page 477]

This is a direct appeal from a judgment of sentence imposed after a jury conviction on a charge of possession

[ 234 Pa. Super. Page 478]

    of a controlled substance.*fn1 For the reasons stated hereinafter, we affirm the judgment below.

The facts which the hearing judge accepted as true at the suppression hearing show that on December 4, 1973, Trooper Paul E. Eberts of the Pennsylvania State Police received information from an informant that a crate which contained a quantity of heroin had been sent via Trailways bus by a named individual in New York to a Robert Jones in Harrisburg. The informant gave a detailed description of the exterior of the crate and the addresses which appeared thereon. The Trooper then proceeded to the bus terminal to corroborate the informant's statement that such a crate or package existed. Upon arriving at the bus terminal Trooper Eberts was shown the package which had already been opened, and an open bag containing a white powdered substance which he correctly opined to be heroin was plainly visible. The record does not reveal the circumstances under which the crate was opened and the contraband displayed other than the Trooper's uncontradicted testimony that he did not open the crate and that he did not instruct or request anyone to open the crate.

After this initial inspection, the crate was closed and the Trooper proceeded to a magistrate where he obtained a search warrant for the package. He, with the assistance of other officers, then set up a surveillance of the area awaiting the claimant of the package. Five hours later the appellant, Martin Adams, came to retrieve the crate, stating only that he had come to pick up a package for Robert Jones. After he was given the crate and signed the receipt "Robert Jones" he was placed under arrest.

The appellant argues that the initial observation of the heroin by the Trooper was a warrantless and illegal

[ 234 Pa. Super. Page 479]

    search, the fruits of which should have been suppressed as violative of ...


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