The opinion of the court was delivered by: ARTHUR SCHWAB, District Judge
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. On February 10, 2005, City of Pittsburgh Police Officers
Robert Pires (Officer Pires) and Robert Kavals (Officer Kavals)
were working in plain clothes capacity and driving an unmarked
car in the Homewood section of the City of Pittsburgh.
2. Because the Homewood section of Pittsburgh is a high crime
and drug trafficking area, Officer Pires and Kavals were
dispatched to that area, where their routine patrol focused on
narcotics, guns and other types of violations.
3. Officer Kavals has nine years of experience as a City of
Pittsburgh Police Officer. In his nine years as a police officer,
Kavals has made approximately 300 drug arrests, with over 80%
involving crack cocaine.
4. Officer Pires has twenty-three years of experience as a City
of Pittsburgh Police Officer, has worked as a narcotics detective
for eleven years, and has been involved in several thousand drug
arrests, including those involving crack cocaine.
5. On the evening of February 9, 2005, Bryan Otic Mickens
(Mickens) received a telephone call from defendant to inquire
about Mickens giving him a ride to Westmoreland County.
6. At approximately 12:18 a.m., Mickens was driving a maroon
Oldsmobile with defendant in the front passenger seat and Anthony
Giles (Giles) in the rear passenger seat.
7. At that same time, Officers Kavals and Pires were traveling
south on Brushton Avenue when they observed a maroon Oldsmobile
sedan in front of them that failed to stop at a stop sign posted
at the intersection of Brushton Avenue and Monticello
8. The offices continued to follow the Oldsmobile, which
stopped at the next posted stop sign beyond the intersection of
Brushton Avenue and Monticello Street. The officer then observed
the Oldsmobile's vehicle registration sticker, which showed an
expired registration of January 2005.
9. The officers then continued to follow the Oldsmobile for
approximately two to three minutes, during which time Officer
Pires contacted the City of Pittsburgh Police indexing with the
vehicle registration information, which confirmed that the
vehicle was registered to Mickens and that the registration
expired in January 2005.*fn2
10. Meanwhile, Mickens made a left turn onto Frankstown Avenue
off of Brushton, continued eastbound away from the center of
Homewood, made a right turn onto Tokay Street, and made a left
turn onto Frankstown Avenue. 11. "Failure to Stop at a Posted Stop Sign" and "Driving an
Unregistered Vehicle" are violations of the Pennsylvania Motor
Vehicle Code at 75 Pa.C.S. § 3323(b) and 75 Pa.C.S. § 1301(a),
12. At approximately 12:21 a.m., the officers initiated a
traffic stop of the Oldsmobile in the area of 8326 Frankstown
13. Upon stopping the Oldsmobile, the officers put a call out
over the police radio that a traffic stop was being conducted
involving more occupants in the stopped vehicle than the number
of police officers on the scene.
14. Officer Pires exited the passenger side of the blue Lumina
and approached the driver's side of the Oldsmobile. He requested
that Mickens, the driver of the vehicle, turn off his engine, and
15. Officer Kavals remained in the vehicle and once Officer
Pires signaled that the vehicle had been turned off, Officer
Kavals then ...