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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. $15 (07/11/86)

filed: July 11, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
$15,836.85 -- CASH. APPEAL OF JOSEPH LEE MATTOX, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of August 6, 1985, in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Criminal Division, at No. 66 Misc. Action 1985.

COUNSEL

Allen H. Smith, York, for appellant.

Tyann Miller, York, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Tamilia and Hester, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 280]

This is an appeal from an order forfeiting the sum of $15,836.85 to the Commonwealth pursuant to the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (Drug Act), 35 P.S. ยง 780-101 et seq., and refusing appellant's motion for

[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 281]

    return of the money pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 324. We affirm the order of forfeiture.

Appellant's residence was searched on December 14, 1983, pursuant to a valid warrant. In addition to approximately two pounds of marijuana and paraphernalia such as balance scales, police officers seized over $15,000 found in three bank bags and a cash register. The Commonwealth applied for forfeiture of the cash, appellant applied for its return and a hearing was held on August 6, 1985.

The Commonwealth presented evidence through William Resh, an informant, that appellant claimed to earn $15,000 from construction work and three times that amount, or $50,000, from illegal drug dealing. N.T., 7/6/85, at 3-4. The state trooper who executed the search warrant and arrested appellant testified that, in his opinion based on the search, there was a marijuana distribution operation in progress. Id., at 26. Appellant testified that the confiscated money belonged to his mother who gave it to him for safekeeping. Id. at 32-35, 37-40. Based on that evidence, the court ordered the forfeiture of the cash, finding it to be proceeds derived from the sale of a controlled substance in violation of the Drug Act and therefore subject to forfeiture. Slip op., 10/16/85, at 6-7.

Appellant argues that the court erred in failing to return his funds (1) by applying the wrong forfeiture statute, and (2) in considering subsequent conduct of appellant.

A year after seizure of appellant's cash, the Drug Act was amended to add the following subsection, ...


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