The defendant has been indicted for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree as well as related crimes. The defendant has moved to have the drugs and the weapons that were found in the vehicle that he was a passenger in suppressed as evidence stating that the stop and the search were illegal. The defendant has also moved to suppress a statement that he made to the police after he was arrested based on the illegality of the stop and search and because it violated his Miranda rights.
On the 5th of July, the detective responded to an area in the Bronx based on an anonymous report that there were shots fired. When the detective arrived at the location he interviewed several people, two stating that they had seen shots fired at a 1995 Isuzu Rodeo 4×4 with tinted windows and that someone in that vehicle had been shot in the knee and that the vehicle had left the scene. There were no reports that anyone in the Isuzu had committed a crime.
The detective did not get the names of the witnesses, but put out a report to be on the lookout for the Isuzu. The detective then went to look for the vehicle as well.
Within ten minutes of the report, an officer spotted an Isuzu that matched the description. He and his partner pulled in front of it and approached the vehicle with their guns out. When the officers reached the vehicle they noticed that the front seat passenger of the vehicle had a gunshot wound to the leg. The officer asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle and was told that there was a gun in the glove box.
Upon searching the vehicle the police officers found the gun as well as several ounces of cocaine and a large bag of a green leafy material. All of the occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody and read their rights. The defendant told the officer that the green leafy material was oregano, which was used to through dogs off the scent of the crack.
Court Discussion and Decision
The argument of the defendant that the stop and search was illegal tends to have merit. While the officers that made the stop were doing so under the information provided by the detective, the issue is that the detective was never told that the people in the Isuzu were a part of any crime.
However, the officers did approach the vehicle with caution and when they arrived at the vehicle they were informed that one of the passengers was injured and that there was a gun in the car. In addition, the drugs that were found were in the passenger seat and the officers could see them, which gave them the right to search the vehicle.
In regard to the issue of not being read his Miranda rights, the court finds this argument to be without merit.
The motion to suppress the gun, drugs, and statement are denied.
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