Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. One 1981 Volvo Coupe, No. Misc. 388, July 1983.
Lawrence Sager, with him, Pamela S. Fisher, Sager & Sager, for appellant.
John J. Burfete, Jr., Deputy Attorney General, with him, LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Rogers, MacPhail and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 305]
Joey Scotten, who owned a 1981 Volvo Coupe automobile, appeals from an order of the Court of Common
[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 306]
Pleas of Montgomery County directing the forfeiture of the vehicle under Section 28 of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (Act), Act of April 14, 1972, P.L. 233, as amended, 35 P.S. § 780-128. Section 28 of the Act provides in part:
(a) The following shall be subject to forfeiture to the Commonwealth and no property right shall exist in them:
(4) All conveyances, including aircrafts, vehicles, or vessels, which are used or intended for use, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate the transportation, sale, receipt, possession or concealment of . . . [all controlled substances or other drugs manufactured, dispensed or acquired in violation of the Act or raw materials, equipment and products used or intended for use in manufacturing a controlled substance]. (Emphasis supplied.)
On July 13, 1983, a Cheltenham Township detective and a confidential informant met with the appellant, who was suspected of dealing in controlled substances, at a restaurant in the Cheltenham Square Shopping Center for the purpose of purchasing cocaine from the appellant. The informant and the appellant spoke briefly and the latter then left the restaurant on foot promising to return soon. The appellant left the shopping center, crossed a public street and disappeared from view. He returned to the shopping center five minutes later driving the Volvo Coupe which is the subject of this appeal. The appellant parked the car, entered the restaurant and delivered a small package of white powder, later determined to be cocaine, to the detective. After a struggle, during which the appellant swallowed three other packets of cocaine, he was subdued and placed under arrest.
[ 89 Pa. Commw. Page 307]
The Office of the Attorney General obtained possession of the automobile*fn1 and filed a petition for forfeiture. The court of common pleas, following a hearing, granted ...