Dashiell v. State, 1182

CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtJAMES R. EYLER.
Citation792 A.2d 1185,143 Md. App. 134
PartiesRashida C. DASHIELL, v. STATE of Maryland.
Docket NumberNo. 1182,1182
Decision Date05 March 2002

792 A.2d 1185
143 Md.
App. 134

Rashida C. DASHIELL,
STATE of Maryland

No. 1182, Sept. Term, 2001.

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.

March 5, 2002.

792 A.2d 1188
Stacy W. McCormack, Asst. Public Defender (Stephen E. Harris, Public Defender, on the brief), Baltimore, for appellant

Rachel Marblestone Kamins, Asst. Atty. Gen. (J. Joseph Curran, Jr., Atty. Gen., Baltimore, and Davis R. Ruark, State's Atty. for Wicomico County, Salisbury, on the brief), for appellee.

Argued before JAMES R. EYLER, GREENE, LAWRENCE F. RODOWSKY (Ret., specially assigned), JJ.

792 A.2d 1186

792 A.2d 1187

The Circuit Court for Wicomico County convicted Rashida C. Dashiell, appellant, of two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, and possession of marijuana. The court denied appellant's motion to suppress the drugs discovered on her person during the execution of a search warrant. Appellant contends the court erred because the police violated her Fourth Amendment right by conducting a frisk or pat-down absent articulable suspicion that she was armed and dangerous.

792 A.2d 1189

The Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force conducted a four-month narcotics investigation of Brewington Holton Bivens. On January 11, 2001, the police submitted an application for a search and seizure warrant. The application alleged that Bivens was concealing controlled dangerous substances (CDS) at 907 Booth Street, Apartment # 1 (Booth Street), and 1113 Parsons Road, Apartment # A (Parsons Road), in Wicomico County. Based on a finding that probable cause existed, the court issued a no-knock warrant to search Booth Street, Parsons Road and Bivens, and seize any CDS.

On January 25, 2001, at approximately 9:00 p.m., the police executed the Booth Street search warrant. Appellant, her two children, and Angela Bower were the only persons present. Appellant was located in the living room. The police entry team, in the following sequence, rammed the front door to gain entrance, handcuffed appellant and Ms. Bower, secured the apartment, and conducted "pat-downs" for weapons. Once the apartment was secure, members of the police task force entered to conduct the search for CDS.

During the pat-down of appellant, an officer felt a plastic bag believed to contain cocaine, but did not remove it. Having been told about the plastic bag, Corporal Michael Kravitz, a member of the task force but not the entry team, approached appellant and stated "one of the State's team members stated that you had something on you." Appellant responded, "yes, the dope." Corporal Kravitz could also see the plastic bag hanging out of appellant's front pocket. Corporal Kravitz then removed the bag which contained cocaine. Appellant was placed under arrest. A subsequent search of appellant revealed another plastic bag containing crack cocaine and marijuana.

The search of the apartment uncovered one bag of marijuana found underneath a sofa cushion in the living room. Appellant was transferred to the police station. During processing, appellant disclosed that Booth Street was her residence. Appellant was charged with possession with intent to distribute the CDS found on her person and inside the apartment.

Appellant filed a motion to suppress the CDS discovered on her person, alleging that the pat-down was illegal. At the hearing on the motion to suppress, Corporal Kravitz testified that based on police policy, when executing a search warrant, all persons are secured and patted-down for weapons. The court denied appellant's motion, finding:

I don't think those terms ["pat-down" and "search"] can be used interchangeably.
I agree [the police] can't go in there and search and had they not just patted [appellant] down for weapons, if they had searched [appellant], if they had pulled that out of [appellant's] pocket, that would have been wrong.
The Court believes that when the officers pursuant to a search warrant enter the premises, they do have the right to secure the people while they search the premises, and where they are entering pursuant to a search warrant on probable cause that drugs are being—that there is drug trafficking occurring within the premises to permit them to secure these individuals while the search pursuant to a warrant was being conducted without giving them the [concurrent] right to pat down for weapons would be pure folly.
If you can secure them, certainly think you can determine that they do have no weapons to injure those persons in the premises, so I am going to rule that the
792 A.2d 1190
officers did have the right to pat down. Once they patted down, another officer determined that or talked to her and she said it was the dope in her pocket and they could see the plastic bag sticking out of her pocket, I believe at that point they had probable cause to seize that property.


When a motion to suppress has been denied, an appellate court shall consider the facts in the light most favorable to the State, the prevailing party. See Wilkes v. State, 364 Md. 554, 569, 774 A.2d 420 (2001); Cartnail v. State, 359 Md. 272, 282, 753 A.2d 519 (2000); Simpler v. State, 318 Md. 311, 312, 568 A.2d 22 (1990). Our review is limited to the facts presented at the time of the suppression hearing. See Wengert v. State, 364 Md. 76, 80, 771 A.2d 389 (2001); Buie v. State, 320 Md. 696, 699, 580 A.2d 167 (1990); Trusty v. State, 308 Md. 658, 670, 521 A.2d 749 (1987). Because appellant has alleged a violation of her Fourth Amendment right, we must make our own independent constitutional appraisal by reviewing the law and applying it to the facts. See Jones v. State, 343 Md. 448, 457, 682 A.2d 248 (1996); Aguilar v. State, 88 Md.App. 276, 282, 594 A.2d 1167 (1991).

The protections of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures are applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment.1 The exclusionary rule provides that evidence discovered in contravention of the Fourth Amendment is inadmissible. See Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 (1961).

In Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968), the Supreme Court held that, under certain circumstances, police officers can conduct a stop and frisk of a criminal suspect. A suspect may be stopped or detained when there are specific facts producing rational inferences that criminal activity may be afoot. Terry, 392 U.S. at 30, 88 S.Ct. 1868. Similarly, if articulable facts support a reasonable suspicion that the suspect poses a danger, the officer may conduct a limited frisk or pat-down. Id. at 27, 88 S.Ct. 1868. The measure of reasonableness for a stop and frisk is often defined as "suspicion," "reasonable suspicion," or "reason to believe," Payne v. State, 65 Md.App. 566, 569, 501 A.2d 484 (1985), and is less demanding than probable cause. See United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 7, 109 S.Ct. 1581, 104 L.Ed.2d 1 (1989). At a minimum, reasonable suspicion must be based on more than an inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or hunch. See Terry, 392 U.S. at 27, 88 S.Ct. 1868; Anderson v. State, 282 Md. 701, 702, 387 A.2d 281 (1978). The fundamental test for determining reasonableness is the balancing of the need for governmental intrusion against the nature and quality of the personal invasion. See Terry, 392 U.S. at 21, 88 S.Ct. 1868; In re David S., 367 Md. 523, 532-33, 789 A.2d 607 (2002).

A stop is a separate intrusion from a frisk. See Payne v. State, 65 Md. App. 566, 569-70, 501 A.2d 484 (1985). "Although a reasonable `stop' is a necessary predecessor to a reasonable `frisk,' a reasonable `frisk' does not inevitably follow in the wake of every reasonable `stop.'" Gibbs v. State, 18 Md.App. 230, 238-39, 306 A.2d 587 (1973). A frisk requires independent justification, see Alfred v. State, 61

792 A.2d 1191
Md.App. 647, 664, 487 A.2d 1228 (1985), yet sometimes the same underlying facts that justify a stop may also justify a frisk. See Quince v. State, 319 Md. 430, 572 A.2d 1086 (1990) (reasonable suspicion of handgun violation); Simpler v. State, 318 Md. 311, 318-19, 568 A.2d 22 (1990) (citing 3 Wayne R. LaFave, Search and Seizure, § 9.4(a), at 505-06 (1987)) (reasonable suspicion of a violent crime).

Even when a frisk is justified, it may be invalid because the police unreasonably exceeded the permissible scope of a frisk.2 See Aguilar v. State, 88 Md.App. 276, 594 A.2d 1167 (1991). In Terry, the frisk was limited to a pat-down of the suspect's outer clothing. Terry, 392 U.S. at 30, 88 S.Ct. 1868. In subsequent cases, the permissible scope of a frisk was broadened under certain circumstances. See In re David S., 367 Md. 523, 533-34, 789 A.2d 607 (2002). The scope of a frisk may not exceed the bounds of what is minimally necessary to ensure safety, see State v. Smith, 345 Md. 460, 465-66, 693 A.2d 749 (1997), and is designed exclusively for detecting offensive weapons. See Alfred v. State, 61 Md.App. 647, 669, 487 A.2d 1228 (1985).

It is well settled that a person's mere proximity to a criminal suspect does not automatically give rise to articulable suspicion or probable cause necessary to conduct a frisk or more extensive search of that person. See Sibron v. New York, 392 U.S. 40, 62-63, 88 S.Ct. 1889, 20 L.Ed.2d 917 (1968); In re Appeal No. 113, 23 Md.App. 255, 260-61, 326 A.2d 754 (1974).3 The Supreme Court applied this rationale in Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U.S. 85, 91, 100 S.Ct. 338, 62 L.Ed.2d 238 (1979) ("[A] person's mere propinquity to others independently suspected of criminal activity does not, without more, give rise to probable cause to search that person."). The Court held that the police could not automatically frisk all patrons of the Aurora Tap Room absent articulable suspicion that the persons were armed or dangerous when executing a search warrant based on probable cause that drugs were being sold there. Id. at 93-94, 100 S.Ct. 338.

Two years after Ybarra...

To continue reading

Request your trial
24 cases
  • Bost v. State, 98, September Term, 2007.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 15 Octubre 2008
    ...an "indisputable nexus between drugs and guns." United States v. Sakyi, 160 F.3d 164, 169 (4th Cir.1998); see also Dashiell v. State, 143 Md.App. 134, 153, 792 A.2d 1185, 1196 (2002) (noting that "[p]ersons associated with the drug business are prone to carrying The Metropolitan police offi......
  • Norman v. State, 56, Sept. Term, 2016
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 27 Marzo 2017
    ...located within the [residence]." Id. at 101–02, 821 A.2d at 381–82 (footnote omitted). Similarly, in its opinion in Dashiell v. State , 143 Md.App. 134, 153, 792 A.2d 1185, 1196 (2002), aff'd , 374 Md. 85, 821 A.2d 372 (2003), the Court of Special Appeals stated: "The degree of danger prese......
  • Davis v. State, No. 59
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 21 Octubre 2004
    ...appellate court addressed an issue that was not directly raised by either party18 and which, although discussed in Dashiell v. State, 143 Md.App. 134, 152-53, 792 A.2d 1185, 1195-96 (2002),19 has never been decided by a Maryland court, whether "no-knock" warrants-warrants that determine the......
  • Stokeling v. State, 1126, September Term, 2008.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 30 Diciembre 2009
    ...that exists between guns and drugs. See Hicks v. State, 189 Md.App. 112, at 134, 984 A.2d 246, at 259 (2009); Dashiell v. State, 143 Md.App. 134, 153, 792 A.2d 1185 (2002) ("Persons associated with the drug business are prone to carrying weapons."), aff'd, 374 Md. 85, 821 A.2d 372 (2003); W......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT