The opinion of the court was delivered by: Muir, District Judge.
On April 9, 1991, the grand jury sitting at Scranton returned a
two-count indictment charging Gene Allen Herrold with possession
of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 922(g) and 924(e)(1) and with possession of a firearm during and
in relation to a drug trafficking crime in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1).
On April 26, 1991, Herrold appeared before us and entered a
plea of not guilty to the charges as set forth in the indictment.
On May 28, 1991, Herrold filed a motion to suppress evidence and
a brief in support thereof. We held a hearing on the motion to
suppress evidence on June 26, 1991. This motion has been fully
briefed. The following are the Court's findings of fact,
discussion, and conclusions of law with respect to the motion to
1. Gene Allen Herrold lives at RD # 1, Box 504, Port Trevorton,
Pennsylvania. (Undisputed) (hereinafter "U")
2. On August 24, 1990, members of the Region IV Narcotics
Strike Force based in State College, Pennsylvania and a
confidential informant went to the vicinity of Herrold's
residence, a white trailer home with brown trim located
approximately 100 feet west of the intersection of Flanders Road
and Sholley's Road in Chapman Township, Snyder County,
3. The officers had learned from the confidential informant who
made the arrangements, as well as from another informant, that
Herrold had just obtained a large quantity of cocaine.
4. Before the confidential informant drove to Herrold's
residence, the officers strip-searched the informant's person and
searched the informant's vehicle, and found no hidden controlled
5. On August 24, 1990, Herrold allegedly sold one-half ounce of
cocaine to the confidential police informant. (U)
6. Previously that evening, the confidential informant had made
arrangements by telephone with Herrold and a female occupant of
the trailer to purchase cocaine.
7. Subsequent to the alleged sale, Herrold was arrested in his
home by Pennsylvania State Trooper Kenneth F. Hill who arrested
him without first obtaining an arrest warrant.
8. Steve Landis is the confidential police informant who
allegedly purchased drugs from Herrold on August 24, 1990. (U)
9. Steve Landis lives at RD # 1, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. (U)
10. Trooper Hill is assigned to the Region IV Narcotics Strike
Force in State College.
11. Detective Ray C. Gerringer is the Chief Deputy Sheriff and
Chief County Detective in Montour County. (U)
12. On August 24, 1990, Ray C. Gerringer was serving in
conjunction with the SUN (Snyder, Union, Northumberland) Area
Task Force under the supervision of Trooper Hill. (U)
13. Ray C. Gerringer was a member of the surveillance team
observing Herrold on August 24, 1990. (U)
14. Sergeant J. Martin Berthelsen is employed by the Mahoning
Township Police Department. (U)
15. On August 24, 1990, Sergeant Berthelsen was assigned to the
SUN Area Task Force under the supervision of Trooper Hill. (U)
16. On August 24, 1990, Sergeant Berthelsen was a member of the
surveillance team observing Herrold's residence. (U)
17. Chief Ramer is employed by Riverside, Pennsylvania, Police
18. On August 24, 1990, Chief Ramer was serving in conjunction
with the SUN Task Force under the supervision of Trooper Hill.
19. On August 24, 1990, Chief Ramer was a member of the
surveillance team observing Herrold's residence. (U)
20. Detective/Sergeant Thomas Garlock is employed by the
Sunbury, Pennsylvania, City Police Department. (U)
21. On August 24, 1990, Sergeant Garlock was serving in
conjunction with the SUN Area Task Force under the supervision of
22. N. Haas is a Pennsylvania State Trooper. (U)
23. On August 24, 1990, Trooper Haas was assigned to assist the
SUN Area Task Force and served under the supervision of Trooper
24. Robert Avvisoto is a Pennsylvania State Trooper. (U)
25. Trooper Avvisoto was assigned to assist the SUN Area Task
Force on August 24, 1990, serving under the direction of Trooper
26. In 1988, Landis was approached by Trooper Hill and advised
that on the basis of certain activities he could be arrested for
the possession of illegal drugs.
27. Landis has been working in an undercover capacity as a
police informant for Trooper Hill.
28. On Wednesday, August 22, 1990, Landis allegedly met with
Herrold and discussed purchasing drugs from Herrold. (U)
29. Herrold and Landis met in Freeburg, Pennsylvania, on August
22, 1990. (U)
30. On August 22, 1990, Landis allegedly gave Herrold $300 for
the drugs. (U)
31. On August 22, 1990, Landis and Herrold allegedly arranged
to consummate the drug sale on Friday, August 24, 1990. (U)
32. On or about August 22, 1990, Landis telephoned Trooper Hill
to advise him of his meeting with Herrold and of the proposed
drug transaction on August 24, 1990.
33. The original plan for the drug transaction was for Herrold
to bring the drugs to Landis' home in Selinsgrove and to
consummate the deal in Selingsgrove, Pennsylvania, on August 24,
1990, at Landis' residence. (U)
34. On August 24, 1990, the surveillance team met between
approximately 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. at the Pennsylvania State Police
35. On August 24, 1990, Trooper Hill strip-searched Landis at
his home prior to proceeding to Herrold's residence.
36. On August 24, 1990, Detective Ray C. Gerringer and Sergeant
J. Martin Berthelsen conducted a search of Landis' vehicle prior
to proceeding to Herrold's residence.
37. Sergeant Garlock and Chief Ramer, who were in Sergeant
Garlock's vehicle, were sitting at an assigned location
conducting surveillance near Landis' home. (U)
38. Garlock and Ramer were in radio communication with Trooper
Hill or Sergeant Berthelson at all times. (U)
39. On the evening of August 24, 1990, Landis telephoned
40. Herrold did not come to the telephone; however, Landis
spoke with Herrold's girlfriend, Barbara Crowther. (U)
41. Crowther indicated that she and Herrold would be up to
Landis' home shortly. (U)
42. Following this telephone call, Landis related to Trooper
Hill the contents of his conversation with Ms. Crowther. (U)
44. Thereafter, on August 24, 1990, Landis made a second call
45. He did not speak with Herrold but with an older woman and
advised her to tell Herrold that Landis would be coming to
Herrold's home and to tell Herrold to await his arrival. (U)
46. Subsequently, Trooper Hill notified the other members of
the surveillance team who were not with him at Landis' home ...