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12/01/97 COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. DANIEL K.

December 1, 1997

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
DANIEL K. WALTSON, APPELLANT



Appeal from the JUDGMENT OF SENTENCE January 15, 1997, In the Court of Common Pleas of CHESTER County, CRIMINAL NO. 1094-96. Before MacElree, J.

Before: Cavanaugh, Del Sole, Hoffman, JJ. Opinion BY Hoffman, J.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hoffman

OPINION BY HOFFMAN, J.:

Filed December 1, 1997

This is an appeal from a January 15, 1997 judgment of sentence for possession of a controlled substance, *fn1 possession with intent to deliver, *fn2 and manufacture with intent to deliver. *fn3 Appellant, Daniel Waltson, presents the following issue for our review:

Did the trial court commit error and abuse of discretion in denying the Appellant's Motion for Suppression of Evidence, where the search warrant and affidavit fail to set out the credibility and veracity of the informer, and where the police searched, and seized evidence from, the entire residence as described in the warrant, while the affidavit establishes probable cause to search the basement only?

Appellant's Brief at 4.

Both parties stipulated to the following facts:

On January 9, 1996 State Police responded to a domestic dispute at Mosquito Lane, London Grove, Pennsylvania.... They were met by a woman who they did not know, and who had never in the past given them any information regarding drugs or drug trafficking, who stated that she lived at 159 Mosquito Lane, and her boyfriend [appellant] was growing marijuana in the basement of the house. Based solely on that information, a search warrant was issued.

The search warrant lists [with adequate specificity the items to be seized.] The search warrant lists, as premises to be searched, "159 Mosquito Lane.... Residence is located on the west side of Mosquito Lane from common driveway. Described as a one story ranch cream stucco residence."

The State Troopers searched the entire house for drugs. In the basement of the house, the Troopers found one room in which ten marijuana plants were growing. The troopers found [marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia in other places in the house besides the basement....]

On November 22, 1996, appellant was convicted on all three charges in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas after a non-jury trial. Appellant was sentenced to 6 (six) to 23 (twenty-three) months in prison. This timely appeal followed.

Appellant first claims that the description in the warrant was over broad in that it authorized a search of the entire household when there was only probable cause to search the basement.

When reviewing the ruling of a suppression court, we must determine whether the record supports the factual findings. When a defendant appeals, we must consider only the evidence of the prosecution and so much of the evidence for the defense as, fairly read in the context of the record as a whole, remains uncontradicted. We are bound by the facts as found and may reverse the suppression court only if the legal Conclusions drawn from those facts are in error. Commonwealth v. Lewis, 535 Pa. 501, 504, 636 ...


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