A. Search Incident to Arrest
Pennsylvania state troopers made a warrantless arrest of both the defendants on the evening of July 8, 1979 outside the Mainliner Motel in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. The troopers had ample probable cause to support the arrests. Earlier in the evening, C.T., the alleged victim, had told an officer of the state police that the defendants had transported her from New Mexico against her will, that they had sexually abused her, and that they were armed. Troopers also had spoken to an employee of the motel where the defendants and C.T. had been staying. This employee stated that C.T., naked, bruised and scared, had come to her seeking help. Moreover, one of the troopers had observed C.T. in a shaken condition. "(P)robable cause can rest upon the collective knowledge of the police, rather than solely on that of the officer who actually makes the arrest." United States v. McManus, 560 F.2d 747, 750 (6th Cir. 1977), Cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1047, 98 S. Ct. 894, 54 L. Ed. 2d 798 (1978).
Where probable cause exists, police do not need a warrant to arrest a suspected felon in a public place. See United States v. Watson, 423 U.S. 411, 414-24, 96 S. Ct. 820, 46 L. Ed. 2d 598 (1976). The troopers did not violate any right of the defendants when they searched the defendants' persons incident to valid, custodial arrests. See Michigan v. DeFillippo, -- - U.S. -- , 443 U.S. 31, 99 S. Ct. 2627, 61 L. Ed. 2d 343, 348 (1979); United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218, 235, 94 S. Ct. 467, 38 L. Ed. 2d 427 (1973).
B. Searches of Automobile
Following the arrest of the defendants, the state police had Defendant Huslage's Volvo towed to the police barracks. At approximately 1:30 A.M. on July 9, 1979, troopers obtained a warrant from a state magistrate authorizing them to make a nighttime search of the automobile and the defendants' motel room. The application for the warrant adequately described the premises to be searched and the items to be seized. Trooper Schaffer was the affiant on the search warrant application. The facts presented by Trooper Schaffer to establish probable cause came from an interview that he had had with C.T. She had told him that the defendants had transported her against her will from New Mexico to Pennsylvania, that they possessed illicit drugs, that they were armed with a pistol and that she had seen the pistol in the vehicle. An affidavit accompanying a search warrant application may contain hearsay if that hearsay comes from a reliable source. See Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 114, 84 S. Ct. 1509, 12 L. Ed. 2d 723 (1964). A victim of a crime is considered to be reliable unless evidence in the affiant's possession indicates the contrary. See United States v. Mahler, 442 F.2d 1172, 1174-75 (9th Cir.), Cert. denied, 404 U.S. 993, 92 S. Ct. 541, 30 L. Ed. 2d 545 (1971); People v. Ramey, 16 Cal.3d 263, 269, 127 Cal.Rptr. 629, 632, 545 P.2d 1333, 1336, Cert. denied, 429 U.S. 929, 97 S. Ct. 335, 50 L. Ed. 2d 299 (1976); State v. Paszek, 50 Wis.2d 619, 630-31, 184 N.W.2d 836, 842-43 (1971). The facts contained in Trooper Schaffer's affidavit constituted probable cause to search the motel room and the automobile.
The defendants, besides alleging a lack of probable cause, assert other challenges to the legality of the seizure made on July 9. These challenges arise from the fact that the police searched the Volvo twice on July 9. Using flashlights, troopers conducted their initial search at approximately 4:10 A.M.; they did not seize any evidence. The warrant, by its terms, had to be served by 5:00 A.M. At approximately 10:00 A.M., upon questioning by Trooper Schaffer, C.T. reaffirmed her earlier statement that she had seen a pistol in the automobile during the cross-country trip. Trooper Schaffer immediately conducted a second search. Aided by natural light, he found a Beretta pistol tucked behind a loose piece of upholstery. Later on July 9 Trooper Schaffer filed a return on the warrant, listing the weapon and its leather case.
The defendants argue that the seizure of the pistol violated the Fourth Amendment, as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, because the police conducted the search pursuant to a stale warrant that had already been used once. This Court finds on three independent grounds that the police activity that resulted in the seizure of the pistol did not violate the defendants' Fourth Amendment rights. We address the merits of Defendant Stewart's challenges rather than deciding the difficult question of standing that could be raised in the wake of Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 99 S. Ct. 421, 58 L. Ed. 2d 387 (1978).
First, although the state police did search the Volvo after the warrant, according to its terms, had expired, this action under the circumstances does not rise to the level of a constitutional violation and should not prevent federal authorities from using the evidence in a federal prosecution. Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 2005 requires that a search warrant "direct that the search be executed within a specified period of time, not to exceed two (2) days from the time of issuance." This rule seeks to prevent police searches where the probable cause supporting the search has grown stale. See Commonwealth v. McCants, 450 Pa. 245, 299 A.2d 283 (1973). In the present case, Trooper Schaffer searched the vehicle within nine hours after the magistrate had issued the warrant and within twelve hours after the police had arrested the defendants and had seized the Volvo. The probable cause supporting the search had not become stale. The search did not contravene the purpose underlying Rule 2005; a federal court should therefore admit the evidence in a federal prosecution.
Second, the fact that the police made two entries into the Volvo pursuant to a single search warrant does not require a finding that the police violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the defendants. The question is not whether the police went through the door of the vehicle twice, but rather, whether the search conducted at 10:00 A.M. was a continuation of the search that had been initiated at 4:10 A.M. See United States v. Bowling, 351 F.2d 236, 241 (6th Cir. 1965), Cert. denied, 383 U.S. 908, 86 S. Ct. 888, 15 L. Ed. 2d 663 (1966) (entries onto premises on successive days pursuant to single warrant upheld); State v. Swain, 269 N.W.2d 707, 718-19 (Minn.1978) (seizures from search that continued over three-day period pursuant to single warrant upheld where probable cause continued to exist and police reasonably needed the time to conduct an effective search, which involved use of chemical tests). Cf. United States v. Soriano, 482 F.2d 469, 476 (5th Cir. 1973) (subsequent intrusions close in time and similar in nature are not illegal if they do not "significantly increase a pre-existing, legitimate interference with a protected interest"); United States v. Sherman, 430 F.2d 1402, 1406 (9th Cir. 1970), Cert. denied, 401 U.S. 908, 91 S. Ct. 865, 27 L. Ed. 2d 805 (1971) (fact that portion of search begun on highway was necessarily continued to a short time later to permit examination of trunk does not change legal search to illegal one). After carefully examining the circumstances of the present case, we find that the second search was merely a continuation of the initial intrusion. Inadequate lighting prevented the police from thoroughly searching the vehicle at 4:10 A.M. The scope of the two searches was identical. Probable cause for the search still existed at 10:00 A.M. Trooper Schaffer acted reasonably when he entered the Volvo during daylight to renew his search for the weapon. Under this analysis, the expiration time of the search warrant does not create a problem.
Finally, even if our conclusions about the staleness of the search warrant and the continuing nature of the search are erroneous, we still would not find that Trooper Schaffer acted illegally when he searched the vehicle at 10:00 A.M. Relying on the "automobile exception" to the warrant requirement, we hold that the police did not need a warrant to search the Volvo during the morning of July 9. See Chambers v. Maroney, 399 U.S. 42, 90 S. Ct. 1975, 26 L. Ed. 2d 419 (1970). If the police have probable cause to search a vehicle when they stop it on the highway, they instead may search it later at the station house without obtaining a warrant. See Texas v. White, 423 423 U.S. 67, 96 S. Ct. 304, 46 L. Ed. 2d 209 (1975). Lighting conditions justified the delay until 10:00 A.M. of the completion of the station house search. The possible presence in the automobile of a firearm underscores the reasonableness of a warrantless search. See Cady v. Dombrowski, 413 U.S. 433, 447, 93 S. Ct. 2523, 37 L. Ed. 2d 706 (1973).
On July 10, 1979, the state police obtained a search warrant from a magistrate authorizing a third entry into the automobile. Alleging a lack of probable cause, the defendants also attack this search. During the search the police seized a bedsheet and a pair of boots. The application for the warrant identified with adequate specificity the vehicle to be searched and the items to be seized. Trooper Schaffer again served as affiant for the search warrant application. C.T. provided the facts necessary to establish probable cause to seize the bedsheet. She told police that she had seen Defendant Huslage wrap a piece of the bedsheet around his hand to cover a tatoo immediately before he committed a robbery in Indianapolis. Under the analysis previously discussed, an application for a search warrant can contain information obtained from C.T. The police department of Walla Walla, Washington provided the facts necessary to establish probable cause to seize the boots. A Walla Walla police officer informed Trooper Schaffer that a Beretta pistol and a pair of boots had been taken in a burglary on June 29 in Walla Walla. Hearsay information obtained from police officers is considered to be reliable and will support the issuance of a search warrant. See United States v. Merchant Diamond Group, Inc., 565 F.2d 252, 253 (2d Cir. 1977). Probable cause to believe that the bedsheet and the boots would be found in the Volvo came from the personal observations of the affiant made during his initial, lawful search of the automobile.
C. Statements Given to FBI
In addition to challenging the seizure of various pieces of evidence, the defendants also move to suppress statements that they made to FBI Agent Galloway following their arrest. The state police had arrested the defendants at approximately 10:00 P.M. on July 8. Trooper Schaffer orally gave the defendants their "Miranda rights" at the time they were taken into custody. About midnight, the state police took the defendants to the office of a state magistrate. At the magistrate's office, the police swore out a complaint and obtained a warrant to search Mr. Huslage's Volvo and the defendants' room at the Mainliner Motel. The magistrate set bond for the defendants and was informed that Defendant Huslage would attempt to retain private counsel. Huslage testified that he does not remember the magistrate ever speaking directly to him. Several days elapsed before Huslage obtained an attorney. Soon after he did retain counsel, the Commonwealth conducted a preliminary hearing for both defendants.
During the afternoon of July 10, 1979, Special Agent Galloway separately interviewed both defendants. Neither defendant had yet retained an attorney. Prior to conducting each interview, Agent Galloway read the defendant his Miranda rights. He also informed them of the federal charges that might be brought against them and of the maximum penalties for these offenses. Defendant Stewart signed a "Waiver of Rights" form and had an extensive discussion about the cross-country trip with Agent Galloway. Defendant Huslage, although he acknowledged understanding his rights, and although he answered some questions, refused to sign the Waiver of Rights form. Agent Galloway did not make any promises to induce the defendants to give statements. Furthermore, neither defendant told the agent that he would like to postpone the interview until after he retained counsel.
We find that Agent Galloway did not violate the defendants' Fifth Amendment rights by taking statements on July 10. Each defendant heard his Miranda rights at least twice, once just prior to giving the statement, and both defendants indicated that they understood their rights. No one made promises or threats to the defendants that might have affected their free will, thus creating the danger of involuntary statements. See Rogers v. Richmond, 365 U.S. 534, 544, 81 S. Ct. 735, 5 L. Ed. 2d 760 (1961). The set of facts now before us closely parallels that set presented to the Supreme Court in North Carolina v. Butler, 441 U.S. 369, 99 S. Ct. 1755, 60 L. Ed. 2d 286 (1979). The accused in Butler had received Miranda warnings at the time of his arrest and immediately prior to his questioning by the FBI. The defendant stated that he understood his rights. Although refusing to sign a waiver form, he agreed to speak with the agents. He did not ask the agents to postpone questioning until he could retain a lawyer. Examining these facts, the Supreme Court determined that
(t)he question is . . . whether the defendant . . . knowingly and voluntarily waived the rights delineated in the Miranda case. As was unequivocally said in Miranda, mere silence is not enough. That does not mean that the defendant's silence, coupled with an understanding of his rights and a course of conduct indicating waiver, may never support a conclusion that a defendant has waived his rights.