Agnello v. United States, No. 6

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBUTLER
Citation51 A. L. R. 409,70 L.Ed. 145,269 U.S. 20,46 S.Ct. 4
PartiesAGNELLO et al. v. UNITED STATES
Decision Date12 October 1925
Docket NumberNo. 6

269 U.S. 20
46 S.Ct. 4
70 L.Ed. 145
AGNELLO et al.

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 6.
Argued April 23, 1925.
Decided October 12, 1925.

Page 21

Messrs. Battle, Vandiver, Levy & Van Tine, of New York City (Messrs. George Gordon Battle and Isaac H. Levy, both of New York City, of counsel), for petitioners.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 21-22 intentionally omitted]

Page 23

Messrs. James M. Beck, Sol. Gen., of Washington, D. C., and William J. Donovan, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the United States.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 23-27 intentionally omitted]

Page 27

Mr. Justice BUTLER delivered the opinion of the Court.

Thomas Agnello, Frank Agnello, Stephen Alba, Antonio Centorino, and Thomas Pace were indicted in the District Court, Eastern District of New York, under section 37, Criminal Code, 35 Stat. 1088, 1096, c. 321 (Comp. St. § 1020) for a conspiracy to violate the Harrison Act, 38 Stat. 785, c. 1, as amended by

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sections 1006, 1007, 1008 of the Revenue Act of 1918, c. 18, 40 Stat. 1057, 1130 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1919, §§ 6287g, 6287l, 6287r). The indictment charges that defendants conspired together to sell cocaine without having registered with the collector of internal Revenue and without having paid the prescribed tax. The overt acts charged are that defendants had cocaine in their possession, solicited the sale of it, met in the home of defendant Alba at 138 Union street, Brooklyn, and made arrangements for the purpose of selling it, brought a large quantity of it to that place, and sold it in violation of the act. The jury found defendants guilty. Each was sentenced to serve two years in the penitentiary and to pay a fine of $5,000. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment. 290 F. 671.

The evidence introduced by the government was sufficient to warrant a finding of the following facts: Paspuale Napolitano and Nunzio Dispenza, employed by government revenue agents for that purpose, went to the home of Alba, Saturday, January 14, 1922, and there offered by buy narcotics from Alba and Centorino. Alba gave them some samples. They arranged to come again on Monday following. They returned at the time agreed. Six revenue agents and a city policeman followed them and remained on watch outside. Alba left the house and returned with Centorino. They did not then produce any drug. After discussion and the refusal of Napolitano and Dispenza to go to Centorino's house to get the drug, Centorino went to fetch it. He was followed by some of the agents. He first went to his own house, 172 Columbia street; thence to 167 Columbia street, one part of which was a grocery store belonging to Pace and Thomas Agnello, and another part of which, connected with the grocery store, was the home of Frank Agnello and Pace. In a short time, Centorino, Pace, and the Agnellos came out of the last-mentioned place, and all went to Alba's house. Looking through the windows, those on watch saw

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Frank Agnello produce a number of small packages for delivery to Napolitano and saw the letter hand over money to Alba. Upon the apparent consummation of the sale, the agents rushed in and arrested all the defendants. They found some of the packages on the table where the transaction took place and found others in the pockets of Frank Agnello. All contained cocaine. On searching Alba, they found the money given him by Napolitano.

And, as a part of its case in chief, the government offered testimony tending to show that, while some of the revenue agents were taking the defendants to the police station, the others and the city policeman went to the home of Centorino and searched it, but did not find any narcotics; that they then went to 167 Columbia street and searched it, and in Frank Agnello's bedroom found a can of cocaine, which was produced and offered in evidence. The evidence was excluded on the ground that the search and seizure were made without a search warrant. In defense, Centorino and others gave testimony to the effect that the packages of cocaine which were brought to and seized in Alba's house at the time of the arrests had been furnished to Centorino by Dispenza to induce an apparent sale of cocaine to Napolitano; that is, to incite crime or acts having the appearance of crime for the purpose of entrapping and punishing defendants. Centorino testified that, after leaving Napolitano and Dispenza with Alba at the latter's home, he went to his own house and got the packages of cocaine which had been given him by Dispenza, and took them to 167 Columbia street, and there a gave them to Frank Agnello to be taken to Alba's house. Frank Agnello testified on direct examination that he received the packages from Centorino, but that he did not know their contents, and that he would not have carried them, if he had known that they contained cocaine or narcotics. On cross-examination, he said that he had never seen narcotics. Then, notwithstanding objection

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by defendants, the prosecuting attorney produced the can of cocaine which the government claimed was seized in Agnello's bedroom and asked him whether he had ever seen it. He said he had not, and specifically stated he had never seen it in his house. In rebuttal, over objections of defendants, the government was permitted to put in the evidence of the search and seizure of the can of cocaine in Frank Agnello's room, which theretofore had been offered and excluded.

The case involves the questions whether search of the house of Frank Agnello and seizure of the cocaine there found, without a search warrant, violated the Fourth Amendment, and whether the admission of evidence of such search and seizure violated the Fifth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment is:

'The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.'

The provision of the Fifth Amendment invoked is this:

'No person * * * shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.'

The right without a search warrant contemporaneously to search persons lawfully arrested while committing crime and to search the place where the arrest is made in order to find and seize things connected with the crime as its fruits or as the means by which it was committed, as well as weapons and other things to effect an escape from custody is not to be doubted. See Carroll v. United States, 267 U. S. 132, 158, 45 S. Ct. 280, 69 L. Ed. 543, Weeks v. United States, 232 U. S. 383, 392, 34 S. Ct. 341, 58 L. Ed. 652, L. R. A. 1915B, 834, Ann. Cas. 1915C, 1177. The legality of the arrests or of the searches and seizures made at the home of Alba is not questioned. Such searches and seizures naturally and usually appertain to and attend such arrests. But the right does not extend to other places. Frank Agnello's

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house was several blocks distant from Alba's house, where the arrest was made. When it was entered and searched, the conspiracy was ended and the defendants were under arrest and in custody elsewhere. That search cannot be sustained as an incident of the arrests. See...

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1268 practice notes
  • Illinois v. Gates, No. 81-430
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • October 13, 1982
    ...1250, 2 L.Ed.2d 1503 (1958); Taylor v. United States, 286 U.S. 1, 6, 52 S.Ct. 466, 467, 76 L.Ed. 951 (1932); Agnello v. United States, 269 U.S. 20, 33, 46 S.Ct. 4, 6, 70 L.Ed. 145 (1925). 7. Draper v. United States, 358 U.S. 307, 79 S.Ct. 329, 3 L.Ed.2d 327 (1959), affords no support for to......
  • U.S. v. Gray, No. 05-4397.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • July 2, 2007
    ...amend. IV. Until a valid search warrant has issued, the Amendment safeguards the privacy interests of owners, Agnello v. United States, 269 U.S. 20, 33, 46 S.Ct. 4, 70 L.Ed. 145 (1925), boarders, McDonald v. United States, 335 U.S. 451, 454-56, 69 S.Ct. 191, 93 L.Ed. 153 (1948), and tenants......
  • United States v. Nelson, No. 71-1155
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • April 21, 1972
    ...2 L.Ed.2d 1514 (1958); Taylor v. United States, 286 U.S. 1, 52 S.Ct. 466, 76 L.Ed. 951 (1932); Agnello v. United 459 F.2d 890 States, 269 U.S. 20, 46 S.Ct. 4, 70 L.Ed. 145 We are concerned by the fact that the unconstitutional police intrusions in this case now occasion our setting aside ju......
  • Kroska v. United States, No. 9002.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • May 25, 1931
    ...319, 24 A. L. R. 1426; Carroll v. United States, 267 U. S. 132, 45 S. Ct. 280, 69 L. Ed. 543, 39 A. L. R. 790; Agnello v. United States, 269 U. S. 20, 46 S. Ct. 4, 70 L. Ed. 145, 51 A. L. R. 409; Byars v. United States, 273 U. S. 28, 47 S. Ct. 248, 71 L. Ed. 520; Gambino v. United States, 2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1265 cases
  • Illinois v. Gates, No. 81-430
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • October 13, 1982
    ...1250, 2 L.Ed.2d 1503 (1958); Taylor v. United States, 286 U.S. 1, 6, 52 S.Ct. 466, 467, 76 L.Ed. 951 (1932); Agnello v. United States, 269 U.S. 20, 33, 46 S.Ct. 4, 6, 70 L.Ed. 145 (1925). 7. Draper v. United States, 358 U.S. 307, 79 S.Ct. 329, 3 L.Ed.2d 327 (1959), affords no support for to......
  • U.S. v. Gray, No. 05-4397.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • July 2, 2007
    ...amend. IV. Until a valid search warrant has issued, the Amendment safeguards the privacy interests of owners, Agnello v. United States, 269 U.S. 20, 33, 46 S.Ct. 4, 70 L.Ed. 145 (1925), boarders, McDonald v. United States, 335 U.S. 451, 454-56, 69 S.Ct. 191, 93 L.Ed. 153 (1948), and tenants......
  • United States v. Nelson, No. 71-1155
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • April 21, 1972
    ...2 L.Ed.2d 1514 (1958); Taylor v. United States, 286 U.S. 1, 52 S.Ct. 466, 76 L.Ed. 951 (1932); Agnello v. United 459 F.2d 890 States, 269 U.S. 20, 46 S.Ct. 4, 70 L.Ed. 145 We are concerned by the fact that the unconstitutional police intrusions in this case now occasion our setting aside ju......
  • Kroska v. United States, No. 9002.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • May 25, 1931
    ...319, 24 A. L. R. 1426; Carroll v. United States, 267 U. S. 132, 45 S. Ct. 280, 69 L. Ed. 543, 39 A. L. R. 790; Agnello v. United States, 269 U. S. 20, 46 S. Ct. 4, 70 L. Ed. 145, 51 A. L. R. 409; Byars v. United States, 273 U. S. 28, 47 S. Ct. 248, 71 L. Ed. 520; Gambino v. United States, 2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • POLICING SUSPICION: QUALIFIED IMMUNITY AND 'CLEARLY ESTABLISHED' STANDARDS OF PROOF.
    • United States
    • Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 112 Nbr. 1, January 2022
    • January 1, 2022
    ...(31) Id. (32) Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032, 1050 (1983). (33) Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332, 343 (2009). (34) Agnello v. United States, 269 U.S. 20, 33 (35) Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 603 (1980). (36) Steagald v. United States, 451 U.S. 204, 221-22 (1981). (37) Schmerber v. Califo......
  • Surveillance and the Tyrant Test
    • United States
    • Georgetown Law Journal Nbr. 110-2, December 2021
    • December 1, 2021
    ...between the citizen and the police . . . .’” (alterations in original) (citation omitted) (f‌irst quoting Agnello v. United States, 269 U.S. 20, 33 (1925); then quoting Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 481–82 (1963))). 417. See, e.g., Thompson v. Louisiana, 469 U.S. 17, 20 (1984) (p......

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