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COMMONWEALTH v. SELLERS (09/22/75)

decided: September 22, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH, APPELLANT,
v.
SELLERS



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County, March T., 1974, No. 1713A, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Norma Sellers.

COUNSEL

Louis R. Paulick, Assistant District Attorney, with him Robert L. Eberhardt, Assistant District Attorney, John M. Tighe, First Assistant District Attorney, and John J. Hickton, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellant.

J. Roi Jones, for appellee.

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

Author: Price

[ 236 Pa. Super. Page 192]

Appellee was indicted for violation of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.*fn1 Prior to

[ 236 Pa. Super. Page 193]

    trial, appellee's motion to suppress the evidence confiscated by the police was granted. Because the Commonwealth alleges that its case will be terminated if it is not permitted to appeal the suppression order, we will examine that order on its merits. Commonwealth v. Deren, 233 Pa. Superior Ct. 373, 337 A.2d 600 (1975). We agree with the Commonwealth's contention that the evidence was improperly suppressed and will, therefore, reverse the order of the lower court.

The facts as revealed in the record indicate that Pittsburgh police officers secured a warrant on February 9, 1974, authorizing a search of a 2 1/2 story, brick dwelling located at 6512 Shetland Avenue. This dwelling was occupied by Harold "Rocky" Ford. In addition to a description of Harold Ford's involvement in drug dealing, the probable cause section of the search warrant contained the following statement:

"The informant also stated to me that 'Rocky's' woman whose name he couldn't remember 'Stashes' the bulk of the 'Stuff' for 'Rocky' in the 'Crib' (the above mentioned premises) and replenishes he [sic] supply at his request."

The officers arrived at the location indicated in the warrant and, after stating their identity and purpose, were directed to Harold Ford's third floor bedroom. There, the officers observed Ford standing in the doorway to the bedroom and appellee lying nude in a bed in the room. The officers testified that there were numerous articles of women's clothing in the bedroom, as well as a handbag sitting on a nightstand.

The officers proceeded to execute the search of the room and its contents. As part of the search for narcotic drugs, the officers examined the handbag located on the nightstand. They removed from this pocketbook a pack of cigarettes which contained ten silver packets of heroin. No other contraband was ...


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