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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES HARTFORD. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/22/83)

filed: April 22, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
JAMES HARTFORD. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT, V. EDWARD DEMMER



No. 658 PITTSBURGH, 1980, No. 660 PITTSBURGH, 1980, Appeal from an Order dated June 30, 1980, of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Allegheny County, Nos. CC8001067A and CC8001050A.

COUNSEL

Robert L. Eberhardt, Deputy District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Leonard I. Sharon, Pittsburgh, for Hartford, appellee, at No. 658.

Thomas W. Brown, Pittsburgh, for Demmer, appellee, at No. 660.

Hester, McEwen and Johnson, JJ. Johnson, J., files a dissenting opinion.

Author: Hester

[ 313 Pa. Super. Page 215]

This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from the granting of a motion to suppress.

The facts of the case are as follows:

On August 3, 1979, Detective Anthony Ransley of the Allegheny County Police, Narcotics Division, purchased several grams of cocaine from appellee James Hartford, at the appellee's apartment located at 207 Castle Shannon Boulevard in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Despite diligent effort, Detective Ransley could not thereafter locate appellee Hartford for approximately five months. Appellee had moved from his Mt. Lebanon address and his telephone had been disconnected. Finally, on January 10, 1980, Ransley received a telephone call from an informant advising that Hartford might be at a certain address in Castle Shannon on Waverly Street. This call came to detective Ransley at approximately 6:00 p.m.

Ransley then proceeded to that address. It was a multiple-dwelling apartment building. He and Detective Duffy, who accompanied him, went to the garage portion of the building to see whether they could locate Hartford's car. Upon spotting what appeared to be Hartford's vehicle, they

[ 313 Pa. Super. Page 216]

    ran a check on the license number which confirmed their suspicion.

Upon receiving this information, the detectives went to the Castle Shannon Police Department and inquired whether the police knew the manager of the building. Also, the detectives wanted the Castle Shannon Police to assist them with the arrest of appellee Hartford.

The detectives and police then proceeded back to the apartments, located appellees' names on the mailbox, and had the manager indicate which apartment was the appellees.

The detectives and police went to appellees apartment where, before the officers, had an opportunity to knock on appellees door, appellee Demmer opened the door. The officers then identified themselves and asked if they could enter. Appellee Demmer said "Come on in." They entered, saw Hartford and another individual sitting on the living room floor. Detective Ransley proceeded to arrest Hartford*fn1 and to read him his Miranda rights. He then noticed cocaine and assorted paraphernalia on the table at which Hartford and his companion were sitting. He accordingly promptly arrested Hartford and Demmer, on new charges,*fn2 and one of the detectives again read their rights to both of them.

The detectives then inquired of Hartford and Demmer if they had any more drugs. Hartford and Demmer each gave to the detectives more cocaine which they had in other rooms. Hartford also told Ransley to proceed to search the apartment if he wished.

It is the drugs and drug paraphernalia thus seized by the officers that is the subject of the motion to suppress which was granted by the ...


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