575 F.2d 1193 (6th Cir. 1978), 77-5339, United States v. Lowe

Docket Nº:77-5339, 77-5340.
Citation:575 F.2d 1193
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Ricky Alonzo LOWE, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Sheila Jayne DIXON, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:May 24, 1978
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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Page 1193

575 F.2d 1193 (6th Cir. 1978)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Ricky Alonzo LOWE, Defendant-Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Sheila Jayne DIXON, Defendant-Appellant.

Nos. 77-5339, 77-5340.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

May 24, 1978

Argued April 17, 1978.

Rehearing Denied June 12, 1978.

Gary A. Rossi, Berkley, Mich. (Court-appointed), for defendant-appellant in No. 77-5339.

James K. Robinson, U. S. Atty., Chris Andreoff, Asst. U. S. Atty., Detroit, Mich., for plaintiff-appellee in Nos. 77-5339 and 77-5340.

Richard A. Rossman, Detroit, Mich., for plaintiff-appellee in No. 77-5339.

Richard J. Amberg, Jr., Miller, Amberg & Cristini (Court-appointed), John J. Schutza, Southfield, Mich., for defendant-appellant in No. 77-5340.

Before EDWARDS, CELEBREZZE and MERRITT, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM.

The defendants appeal their conviction of possession with intent to distribute approximately 11/2 pounds of heroin mailed to their home in a package from Thailand. The defendants' appeal is based entirely on an order of District Judge DeMascio overruling their motion to suppress the heroin. The Detroit Post Office made a "controlled delivery" of the Thailand package to defendants' home after the foreign package was opened by customs officials at the Detroit Post Office as a part of a routine drug inspection of packages originating in Thailand, a known source of heroin. The package was resealed and delivered by the Post Office the day after a warrant was issued authorizing search of defendants' home and seizure of the heroin.

Page 1194

Defendants' motion to suppress was based on two theories: (1) the search warrant was issued in advance of delivery and there was no basis for a finding that the contraband was presently located at defendants' house, and (2) that the opening of the package by the customs officials at the Detroit Post Office constitutes a warrantless "border search" which may only take place at the first port of entry of an article mailed from a foreign country.

Neither one of these grounds for suppression is well taken. The District Court was correct in finding that probable cause existed to support the issuance of a search warrant authorizing seizure once the heroin package was delivered in due course by the Post Office. Contraband does not...

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