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Search and Seizure Record Displays Probable Cause

Posted by Daniel Herbert DUI/Criminal Defense

In prosecution on drug distribution charge, Dist. Ct. did not err in denying defendant’s motion to suppress drugs seized from his vehicle, after defendant was arrested during controlled drug purchase that was arranged on same day informant-drug supplier was arrested by police. While defendant argued that police lacked probable cause to arrest him, where police lacked any reliable information provided by first-time informant, record showed that police had probable cause to arrest him, since informant’s tip about upcoming drug purchase with defendant was corroborated, where: (1) defendant matched physical description given by informant; (2) defendant drove vehicle that matched description given by informant and came at same time and place as described by informant; (3) police observed informant’s signal that drug transaction with defendant had taken place; and (4) defendant had attempted to flee scene of transaction as police approached defendant to arrest him.

Also, police had probable cause to search defendant’s vehicle and to seize instant drugs, where Dist. Ct. made credibility finding that drugs were in plain view in defendant’s vehicle when police looked into defendant’s vehicle after his arrest. Fact that defendant testified that drugs were enclosed in bag did not require different result. Moreover, inevitable discovery rule applied to deny instant suppression motion, where police would have discovered presence of drugs during inventory search of vehicle following his arrest. U.S. v. Cherry, No. 17-3018 (April 8, 2019) N.D. Ill., E. Div. Affirmed

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