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Court Discusses Validity of Search Warrant

This case involves the People of the State of New York against three defendants. The case is being heard in the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County Part II. The defendants in the case, they have been charged with one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree(drug possession). One defendant Daphne Barber has also been charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree.

Defendants Argument

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the defendants have motioned both orally and in writing for two search warrants that were issued on the 24th of June and the 2nd of July in 1981 to be removed and for all the evidence including the cocaine that was seized to be suppressed. Defendant Eric Jean did not move with respect to the indictments against him and is not a part of this hearing.

The defendants have challenged the motivation for and the legality of the search for stolen property that resulted in the seizure of other items including cocaine. The cocaine is alleged to have been found in “plain view.”

Additionally, the defendants challenge the truth of the allegations that were made against them in an affidavit of William Q.

Case Facts

The two of the defendants are sister and brother and at the times relevant to these proceedings were living at the subject premises located in Lloyd Harbor, Long Island. They resided in a one family home located on approximately three acres. The property is secluded and sits about 300 feet from the road.

As early as April of 1980, information about narcotics being sold from the home came to the attention a police sargeant who is employed by the Lloyd Harbor Police Department. The police department attempted to gain evidence against the defendants, but was unsuccessful.

On the 26th of October, 1980, the Sergeant was advised through a phone call from David S. who was in California, that his apartment located in Greenlawn, Long Island had been burglarized and his stereo, camera equipment, and motorcycle were taken.

S. stated that he new his items had been taken by defendant one of the defendants because his girlfriend called D. who stated that she would return his items when he paid her the $1200 that he owed her. One defendant also left a note in the apartment that demanded payment of $1200 or she would sell his stuff, including the motorcycle. The debt was thought to be drug related.

When S. returned to Long Island he met with the Sergeant to recover his motorcycle. S. signed a formal complaint against the D. The police suggested that S. go to the D.’s house. When S. arrived at the home, no one answered. He went to the back of the house and looked in a window to discover his stereo sitting on the defendant’s bed. He signed an affidavit and a search warrant was issued.

Case Decision

A Westchester County Criminal Lawyer said the facts of the case have been reviewed and it is determined that the search warrant was issued based on an affidavit that stated a witness saw his stolen property in the home. This constitutes enough reason for a warrant to be issued. The motion to controvert the warrant is denied for these reasons.

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