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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. STEVEN PASSARELLI (01/18/80)

filed: January 18, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
STEVEN PASSARELLI



No. 785 October Term, 1979, Appeal from a Suppression Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Criminal Division, Nos. 735, 736 of 1978.

COUNSEL

Michael E. Riskin, Assistant District Attorney, Easton, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Gus Milides, Easton, for appellee.

Spaeth, Hester and Cavanaugh, JJ. Spaeth, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Hester

[ 274 Pa. Super. Page 438]

This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County granting a Motion to Suppress.

Appellee was arrested after police seized 70 pounds of marijuana from his house. However, the lower court suppressed the seized evidence stating that the information contained in the affidavit was insufficient to establish probable cause to search the appellee's home.

The Commonwealth asserts that this finding was error and that in fact there was sufficient information present. We agree and reverse.

An affidavit supporting the issuance of a search warrant must contain first, an explanation of the underlying circumstances from which the informant received the information and reached the conclusion that fruits of a crime would be located in the place to be searched. Secondly, there must be set forth in the affidavit a reasonable basis for the affiant's belief that his informant is credible and his information reliable. Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410, 89 S.Ct. 584, 21 L.Ed.2d 637 (1969) and Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 84 S.Ct. 1509, 12 L.Ed.2d 723 (1964).

Here, the only dispute is whether the first criteria of the afore-enunciated test was satisfied.

The search warrant executed on appellee's house was based on an affidavit dated January 17, 1978 which contained the following information:

1. On Monday, January 16, 1978, members of the Easton Police Department approached a Richard Ehrie, of 121 9th Street, West Easton, Pa., at Eddyside Park, Rt. 611, Easton, at about 5:00 PM having information he was about to engage in a sale of 5 bls. of Marijuana, a controlled substance.

2. When members of the Easton Police Department approached him, Ehrie fled nearly striking members of the ...


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