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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CHRISTINE CARLISLE (12/09/87)

decided: December 9, 1987.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
CHRISTINE CARLISLE, APPELLANT. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE, V. LORETTA MARINACCI, APPELLANT



On Appeal from the Orders dated November 29, 1985 of the Superior Court at Nos. 1234 Pittsburgh, 1983 and 1235 Pittsburgh, 1983 Reversing the Order of September 9, 1983 of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Criminal Division at Nos. Cc8305503A and CC8305504A, granting defendant-petitioners' Motion to Suppress, as per Order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania allowing said appeal on October 30, 1986, at No. 838 W.D. Allocatur Docket, 1985. Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Zappala and Papadakos, JJ. Hutchinson, former J., did not participate in the decision of these cases. McDermott, J., has filed a concurring opinion which Larsen, J., joined. Nix, C.j., concurs in the result.

Author: Flaherty

[ 517 Pa. Page 38]

OPINION ANNOUNCING THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

On May 9, 1983 detectives of the Pittsburgh Police Department, acting on information that an illegal lottery operation was being conducted, applied for a search warrant for the following residence, as described on their application for a search warrant:

9935 Frankstown Rd. Penn Hills Pa. This is a two story frame house with red and grey shingles and ceder [sic] shakes on front, white trim and front porch.

This information appears on a one-page form which serves multiple functions. It is an application for search warrant, a form on which the affidavit in support of the application is written, and, after the application is approved, the form, which contains the affidavit, becomes the search warrant itself. The description of place mentioned above appears in a box near the top of the form which contains the following directions:

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION OF PREMISES AND/OR PERSONS TO BE SEARCHED (Street and No., Apt. No., Vehicle, Safe Deposit Box, etc):

[ 517 Pa. Page 39]

The affidavit in support of the application for a search warrant stated:

Your affiants have received information from a reliable informant who has provided information in the past that has resulted in the arrest of Thomas Morrison in Feb. 1981 and also the arrest and conviction of Neil Harrington in July 1981 for lotterys.

This informant has stated that he plays numbers with an actor known as Bud by calling the number 241-1966 or 241-1967. He states that he calls these numbers at various times during the day. He also states that he has placed number bets with the actor as recent as 5-9-83. The informant states that he only knows the actor as Bud.

Dets. from the Vice Control Section checked the above numbers and found that 241-1966 goes to Sue Fletcher, 9935 Frankstown Rd. Penn Hills, 1st fl. apt 1. The number 241-1967 is listed to Carol Sheehan of the same address and apartment. These numbers were checked with Bell Telephone Security.

Dets. from the Vice Control Section called these numbers on verious [sic] occasions during the past week and found them usually busy and when someone did answer it was on the first ring. The affiants have been assigned to the Vice Section for aprox 5 years and the above pattern is consistent with a numbers operation.

(Emphasis added). A search warrant was issued based upon probable cause to believe that lottery materials would be found at this address, and later that day, a warranted search was conducted at Apartment Number One, 9935 Frankstown Road. Seized were various items used in the operation of a lottery. Only ...


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