No. 542 October Term, 1979 Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Trial Division, at No. 3298.- 1977
Burton A. Rose, Philadelphia, for appellant.
John T. Salvucci, Assistant District Attorney, Norristown, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Price, Watkins and Hoffman, JJ.
[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 289]
Appellant contends that: (1) his warrantless arrest lacked probable cause; (2) the lower court should have suppressed certain evidence seized unlawfully and/or tainted by his unlawful arrest; (3) the search warrants were based upon material misrepresentations and/or were tainted by evidence received in prior illegal searches; (4) the lower court improperly restricted cross-examination of an affiant regarding the reliability of a confidential informant; and (5) his sentence is excessive and lacks a sufficient statement of reasons.*fn1
[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 290]
We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of sentence.
In June, 1977 a confidential informant told Trooper White of the state police that appellant was operating a methaqualone manufacturing laboratory. Although the informant did not substantiate this information, he had previously given the troopers information which had led to numerous arrests and convictions. On August 1, 1977, the informant told Trooper White and Corporal Bason that he and several of his associates were negotiating with appellant for the purchase of the laboratory. The informant also told the troopers that Maurer and "Herb" assisted appellant in his drug operation, and that on July 30, 1977, he had been in the basement of 759 Queen Street where he had observed the pill press and some white powder used to make tablets. Additionally, he described the external characteristics of the building, including the entrances. On the evening of August 1, Trooper White, who initiated surveillance, saw that the building was dimly lit and heard a loud exhaust fan at the rear of the building. At about 12:20 a. m. on August 2, Trooper White
[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 291]
saw an individual leave the rear entrance of 759 Queen Street and walk onto a parking lot at the rear of 762 High Street, appellant's residence.*fn2
On August 2, at 8:05 a. m., Trooper White again contacted the informant. The informant now warned that appellant would probably dismantle the laboratory that very day. Appellant purportedly was having difficulty in the operation and was concerned that the police had discovered the laboratory. White and Bason, concluding that immediate action was necessary, began preparations to obtain a search warrant. They dispatched Troopers Mateleska and Kaunert to the area of 759 Queen Street at 10:45 a. m. on August 2. Those troopers were aware of the information revealed by the informant and were instructed to watch the building and secure the area until a search warrant could be obtained. While stationed across from the residence, the troopers saw two men leave the area of 762 High Street and enter the rear basement door of 759 Queen Street. Twenty minutes later, at 11:40 a. m., the two men exited the building. One carried an object which appeared to be a machine. He emptied some liquid from it and placed it into the trunk of an automobile parked in the lot behind 759 Queen Street. Meanwhile, the companion stood on the basement steps and kept a look-out.
The troopers, concerned that the men were in the process of dismantling the laboratory, approached the two and requested identification. The men identified themselves as Paul Maurer and Doctor Lamar T. Zimmerman. The troopers placed both men under arrest and Mateleska read them their constitutional rights. Soon thereafter, noises were heard from the basement. Concerned about their safety and further destruction of the laboratory, Trooper Mateleska asked appellant if anyone else was in the ...