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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT ERIC BARENSFELD (05/23/80)

filed: May 23, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROBERT ERIC BARENSFELD, APPELLANT



No. 91 April Term, 1979, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, Criminal Division, at No. 598 of 1977.

COUNSEL

John A. Miller, Beaver Falls, for appellant.

John L. Brown, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Beaver, submitted a brief on behalf of Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, President Judge, and Montgomery and Lipez, JJ. Cercone, President Judge, concurs in the result.

Author: Montgomery

[ 278 Pa. Super. Page 290]

Appellant, Robert Eric Barensfeld, was convicted of possession of a controlled substance at a non-jury trial on May 9, 1978. Post-trial motions were denied by the Honorable John N. Sawyer on May 30, 1978. This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence imposed on appellant.

Prior to his trial, appellant filed a motion to suppress the physical evidence seized at the time of his arrest. This motion was granted in part as to the physical items found upon a search of appellant's vehicle after his arrest, but denied as to the controlled substance found in the course of

[ 278 Pa. Super. Page 291]

    his arrest. In this appeal, appellant argues that his warrantless arrest was not predicated on probable cause, and therefore, the evidence should have been suppressed as the fruit of an illegal arrest.

The evidence offered at the hearing on the motion to suppress the evidence was not substantially disputed. The Commonwealth's witness, Trooper Richard McEwen, testified as to various tips he received concerning appellant's activities. On September 15, 1977, appellant's father notified Trooper McEwen that appellant was going to Ellwood City Forge Company to pick up his monthly stipend. The state police officer also received information from an unidentified source that appellant would then proceed to the residence of Michael Varkonda to purchase drugs.*fn1

On the basis of the tips from appellant's father and the unidentified source, the state police began a surveillance of appellant. The police observed him enter the Ellwood City Forge Company, during the morning of September 15, 1977. Upon leaving the Forge Company, appellant proceeded by vehicle to a bank. The state police then lost sight of appellant in traffic, but on the basis of the anonymous tip, they proceeded directly to the Varkonda residence.

When the officers arrived, they observed appellant's vehicle parked outside the Varkonda apartment. A short time later, appellant was seen leaving Varkonda's residence and carrying a brown paper bag. He entered his vehicle ...


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