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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MICHAEL SALVAGGIO (02/23/82)

submitted: February 23, 1982.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
MICHAEL SALVAGGIO, APPELLANT



NO. 736 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Common Pleas Court of Northampton County, Criminal, at No. 319, 1980.

COUNSEL

George E. Goldstein, Pottstown, for appellant.

Donald B. Corriere, District Attorney, Easton, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cavanaugh, McEwen and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Mcewen

[ 307 Pa. Super. Page 388]

We here review an appeal from a judgment of sentence imposed after appellant was convicted following a non-jury trial of possession of cocaine and possession of methamphetamine and sentenced to two terms of imprisonment for a period of from five months to one year to be served concurrently.

Appellant expresses the following contentions in his brief:

1. An individual cannot be considered to be credible in order to establish probable cause to issue a search warrant when he has never provided information in the past and the police know nothing about his background other than he is a drug user and had done nothing to determine whether he is an honest individual.

2. The affidavit did not provide the issuing authority with a factually supported basis to conclude that contraband was present on the premises at the time of the search.

3. The failure to provide the issuing authority the information known about the informant constituted a material misstatement of fact.

The first contention of appellant requires a close scrutiny of the application for a search warrant and affidavit so as to

[ 307 Pa. Super. Page 389]

    determine whether the district magistrate had a sufficient basis to determine there was probable cause for the issuance of a warrant to search the house at 417 Laubach Street, Hellertown, the residence of appellant. The distinguished Northampton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert A. Freedberg conducted a hearing upon the motion of appellant to suppress the evidence as a result of an illegal search and seizure, but refused appellant such relief.

When we review the decision of the trial court, we must determine whether the factual findings are supported by the record. In making this determination, we consider only the evidence of the witnesses of the Commonwealth and so much evidence of the defense as, fairly read in the context of the record as a whole, remains uncontradicted. If, when so viewed, the evidence supports the factual findings we are bound by such findings and may only reverse if the logical conclusions drawn therefrom are in error. Commonwealth v. Johnson, 467 Pa. 146, 151-152, 354 A.2d 886, 889 (1976). Our review of such evidence reveals that the factual findings of the suppression judge are supported by the record and we refer to those Findings of Fact to establish a factual basis for our discussion of this issue:

1. A member of the Pennsylvania State Police filed with a district magistrate an application for search warrant and affidavit seeking a search warrant for defendants' residence, 2 1/2 story red brick dwelling at 417 Laubach Street, Hellertown.

2. The probable cause averments contained therein are set forth as follows:

(1) Between the period of 25 to 31 October, 1979, affiant met with a confidential informant who related to affiant that one Vic Salvaggio is involved in the distribution of large quantities of cocaine and marijuana. That Vic Salvaggio rents vehicles and makes trips to New York and New Jersey to pick up said drugs. That further the said ...


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