271 F.2d 829 (D.C. Cir. 1959), 14904, White v. United States

Docket Nº:14904.
Citation:271 F.2d 829
Party Name:Benjamin E. WHITE alias William W. Blakey, Appellant v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:October 22, 1959
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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271 F.2d 829 (D.C. Cir. 1959)

Benjamin E. WHITE alias William W. Blakey, Appellant


UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 14904.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

October 22, 1959

         Argued June 3, 1959.

         Mr. William R. Lichtenberg, Washington, D.C; (appointed by this court) for appellant.

         Mr. Edward C. O'Connell, Asst. U.S. Atty., with whom Messrs. Oliver Gasch, U.S. Atty., and Carl W. Belcher, Asst. U.S. Atty., were on the brief, for appellee.

         Before WILBUR K. MILLER, FAHY and WASHINGTON, Circuit Judges.

         FAHY, Circuit Judge.

         Appellant was convicted on eleven counts, including forgery, housebreaking

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and grand larceny, in violation of 22 D.C.Code§§ 1 401, 1801, 2202 and 2202 (1951), and of interstate transportation of falsely made securities, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2314 (1958). 1

         Documents taken from appellant's person when he was arrested by a city policeman in New York City-- evidence material to the prosecution's proof--were introduced in evidence over his objection and after his motion to suppress, filed under Rule 41(e), Fed.R.Crim .P., 18 U.S.C., had been overruled. His position is that this evidence was secured from him by an unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the standards of the Fourth Amendment, 2 thus under settled law rendering the evidence inadmissible on his trial in a federal court, United States v. Jeffers, 342 U.S. 48, 72 S.Ct. 93, 96 L.Ed. 59; Weeks v. United States, 232 U.s,, 383, 34 S.Ct. 341, 58 L.Ed. 652, even though the search and seizure were conducted by a municipal officer, without the involvement of any Federal officer. Hanna v. United States, 104 U .S.App.D.C. 205, 260 F.2d 723. The United States Counters that the search and seizure were incidental to appellant's lawful arrest, thus enabling the evidence to be used under an exception to the general rule requiring a valid search warrant to support the reasonableness of a search or seizure. Draper v. United States, 358 U.S. 307, 79 S.Ct. 329, 3 L.Ed.2d 327; United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 70 S.Ct. 430, 94 L.Ed; 653; Harris v; United States, 331 U.S. 145, 67 S.Ct. 1098, 91 L.Ed. 1399. Reasonableness, whether or not there is a search warrant, is the ultimate constitutional test of the lawfulness of a search or seizure. See, e. g., United States v. Lefkowitz, 285 U.S. 452, 464, 52 S.Ct....

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