A police officer testified that he is a six-year member of the New York City Police Department and had worked as an anti-crime officer for approximately the past 3 ½ years. A New York Criminal Lawyer said he testified that he was on anti-drug crime duty on June 8, 2007 at 6:10 P.M. in the vicinity of West 145th Street. The police officer was seated in the rear passenger seat of an unmarked car traveling eastbound on West 145th Street driven by his partner. A police sergeant was traveling in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.
From approximately two or three car lengths ahead, the police officer stated that he observed a Mercedes-Benz, also traveling eastbound on West 145th Street, drive erratically by weaving in and out of lanes and attempt to make a U-turn. The officers responded by accelerating to catch up to the vehicle and putting on signals, lights, and sirens to indicate to the car’s driver that he should pull over. While the Mercedes-Benz was slowing down, but before it came to a complete stop, the police officer testified that he observed a tennis ball thrown from the right side of the car. The police officer stated that on prior occasions in the scope of his law enforcement duties he has seen tennis balls used as containers for narcotics. At an unspecified later point in time, the tennis ball was recovered and shown to the police officer who observed that the ball contained a slit that would allow narcotics to be placed inside of it. While the police officer stated that he was told by the other police officer that the tennis ball contained contraband, the parties entered into a stipulation that no contraband was ever recovered from inside the tennis ball.
After stopping the vehicle, the other police officer approached the driver and asked him for his license, registration and proof of insurance. The police officer stated that he observed his fellow officer ask the driver to get out of the vehicle and pat him down. The driver was then taken to the rear of the Mercedes-Benz where the police officer was standing with the police sergeant. The other police officer took the individual seated in the rear driver side out of the vehicle, patted him down and handcuffed him.
The police officer proceeded to the rear passenger door, opened it and asked the accused to step out of the vehicle. The police officer frisked the accused to check for weapons. When asked what offense the accused was suspected of at the time of the frisk, the police officer responded that he is not sure because when they stopped, they didn’t know what they had or if anybody did anything wrong until they actually did the stop.
The police officer also testified that at some unspecified point after the passengers had been taken out of the vehicle, the other police officer told him that marijuana blunt was recovered from the front seat cup holder area of the car (marijuana possession). During his pre-arrest encounter with the accused, however, the police officer testified that he did not see or hear anything about any contraband that the accused may have possessed. It was also clear from the testimony that the police officer was not aware of the existence of the blunt when he frisked the accused. Upon frisking the accused, the police officer stated that he felt a hard object along the accused man’s belt line in the front of his waistband area and asked him what it was. The accused replied that he did not know. The police officer then removed the object, a one inch long piece of foil paper wrapped in a ball. He acknowledged that tin foil does have flexibility to it.
The police officer further said that he removed the object because he did not know what it was and he was concerned that the object could have hurt him or the accused. He testified that the accused was non-threatening and cooperative during the encounter. When he un-wrapped the foil he found what he believed to be crack cocaine. He then placed the contraband in his pocket and handcuffed the accused.
The accused was walked to the rear of the police vehicle and the police officer gave the contraband recovered from the accused to the other police officer to voucher because he was the arresting officer. A Queens Criminal Lawyer said the Mercedes-Benz was released to the accused man’s brother subsequent to an inventory search of the vehicle. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said at an unspecified later time, the police officer stated that he learned that the foil he had recovered from the accused contained 19 envelopes of powdered cocaine and he is guilty of 16 small baggies of crack cocaine possession.
Law enforcement agencies continue to find ways of making sure that the streets are free from drug dealers and drug users. If you think that you need to be represented by a New York Drug Attorney and a NY Criminal Lawyer, call the office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates and explore all your possible options to win your legal action.