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Commonwealth v. Gillespie

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

October 27, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
WILLIAM ANTHONY GILLESPIE, Appellant

Submitted September 29, 2014

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Erie County, Criminal Division, No(s): CP-25-CR-0001030-2013. Before DISANTIS, J.

Nicole D. Sloane and Tina M. Fryling, Public Defenders, Erie, for appellant.

Roger M. Bauer, Assistant District Attorney, Erie, for Commonwealth, appellee.

BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J., BENDER, P.J.E., and LAZARUS, J. Judge Lazarus joins this opinion. President Judge Emeritus Bender concurs in the result.

OPINION

Page 116

GANTMAN, P.J.

Appellant, William Anthony Gillespie, appeals from the judgment of sentence entered in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas, following his jury trial convictions for possession with intent to deliver (" PWID" ), simple possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.[1] We affirm.

The trial court set forth the relevant facts of this case as follows:

The Sheriff of Erie County is charged with the responsibility of providing security for the [Erie County] Courthouse. A single point of entry for the public was created to provide for the screening of all members of the community entering this public facility.
An Administrative Order was entered by this [c]ourt...on April 15, 2003. The Administrative Order provided the Sheriff's Department with authority to conduct reasonable searches of persons and property entering the Courthouse for the purpose of preventing any potential weapon from entering the building. The use of searches by a metal detector was authorized as well as a pat down search of any person activating a signal from the metal detector. As part of this process, administrative authority was given to search " [a]ll packages, briefcases and other containers in the immediate possession of persons entering [the] Courthouse property...." [(See Omnibus Pretrial Motion for Relief, filed 8/21/13, at Exhibit A).]
The Sheriff's Department has deputies posted at the single point of entry for the public. As a person enters the Courthouse through this entrance, there are two possible lanes to proceed through a metal detector. On either lane, the person is asked to remove any loose item(s) of personal property and place them in a plastic bin which is viewed by a Deputy Sheriff. The person then proceeds through a metal detector.
All persons entering the Courthouse, regardless of age, gender or race, are required to go through this process. Such were the circumstances on March 27, 2013[,] when [Appellant] entered the Courthouse. Like any other member of the public, [Appellant] was required to place any loose items of personal property in the plastic bin to be viewed by a Deputy Sheriff. [Appellant] was then required to proceed through a metal detector. Among the items [Appellant] placed in the plastic bin was a white plastic bottle bearing a label for Anacin.
Upon observing the plastic bottle [Appellant] placed in the bin, Deputy Sheriff Stephen Welch shook ...

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