from the Order May 12, 2016 In the Court of Common Pleas of
Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No(s):
BEFORE: SHOGAN, SOLANO, and PLATT, [*] JJ.
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, appeals from the May 12,
2016 order granting the suppression motion filed by Appellee,
Deshannon Petty. Following our careful review of the record
and the law, we reverse and remand.
suppression court summarized the facts as follows:
The Philadelphia Narcotics Unit set up surveillance at the
target location of 5203 "C" Street, City and County
of Philadelphia. On each of the following dates drug
purchases were completed using a confidential informant. The
dates were June 11, 2015, June 23, 2015 and June 25, 2015.
The seller of the drugs, on each occasion was Darnell Faison
[("Faison")]. Following the purchase of June 23,
2015, Police Officer London requested and received Search and
Seizure Warrant #189157 for the location stated above. A
final purchase was made on June 25, 2015, and Defendant
Faison was arrested after which the Warrant was executed.
Entry to the building was gained using keys which were
recovered from Defendant Faison at the time of his arrest.
Upon gaining entry to the home, Officer London and Officer
Floyd went to the second floor where they encountered
Defendant Petty who was in bed in the rear bedroom. Petty was
with a female. The officers ordered Petty to get up, so Petty
reached for his pants which were lying on the floor. Officer
Floyd ordered Petty to stop then the officer searched the
pants, going into the pockets of the pants prior to turning
the pants over to Petty. During the "in pocket"
search United States currency and a wallet containing photo
identification for Petty were recovered. The officer also
removed from the pants pocket a package which he believed to
be narcotics. Petty had not been involved in any of the prior
Suppression Court Opinion, 8/12/16, at 1-2.
was arrested on June 25, 2015, and charged with possession of
a controlled substance with the intent to deliver,
conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, and
possession of drug paraphernalia. Appellee filed a motion to
suppress on October 21, 2015, asserting that drugs found in
the pocket of his pants should be suppressed. On May 12,
2016, the trial court held a suppression hearing. The
Commonwealth presented the only witness, Philadelphia Police
Officer Nathan London; Appellee presented no witnesses.
Immediately following the hearing, the trial court dictated
its findings of fact and conclusions of law and granted the
motion to suppress. N.T., 5/12/16, at 50-53. The Commonwealth
filed a timely notice of appeal; both the Commonwealth and
the trial court complied with Pa.R.A.P. 1925.
Commonwealth presents the following issue for our review:
Did the lower court err in suppressing [Appellee's]
drugs, which were found in a pair of pants laying [sic] on
the ground in a house being searched pursuant to a valid
Brief at 4.
standard of review of a trial court's order granting a
defendant's motion to suppress evidence is well
When the Commonwealth appeals from a suppression order, we
follow a clearly defined standard of review and consider only
the evidence from the defendant's witnesses together with
the evidence of the prosecution that, when read in the
context of the entire record, remains uncontradicted. The
suppression court's findings of fact bind an appellate
court if the record supports those findings. The suppression
court's conclusions of law, however, are not binding on
an appellate court, whose duty is to determine if the
suppression court properly applied the law to the facts.
Commonwealth v. Miller, 56 A.3d 1276, 1278-1279 (Pa.
Super. 2012) (citations omitted). "Our standard of
review is restricted to establishing whether the record
supports the suppression court's ...