People v. Buchanan

Decision Date22 June 1972
Docket NumberCr. 4718
Citation103 Cal.Rptr. 66,26 Cal.App.3d 274
CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Arthur William BUCHANAN, Defendant and Appellant.

KAUFMAN, Associate Justice.

Defendant was charged by indictment with possession of heroin (Health & Saf. Code, § 11500), possession of a restricted dangerous drug, benzedrine (Health & Saf.Code, § 11910), possession of narcotics paraphernalia (Health & Saf.Code, § 11555), and unlawful possession of a weapon (Pen.Code, § 12020). Pursuant to Penal Code, section 1538.5(i) defendant moved to suppress as evidence against him 'contraband seized from Apartment #173' at the Casa Cordova Apartments in Anaheim on September 30, 1970. The motion was denied, and, pursuant to a plea bargain, defendant pleaded guilty to possession of restricted dangerous drugs (benzedrine) and the additional counts in the indictment were dismissed. Defendant appeals from the judgment (order granting probation) asserting invalidity of the search warrant pursuant to which the incriminating evidence was seized. (Pen.Code, § 1538.5(m).) He also contends he was criminally accused merely because he was associating with persons suspected of illegal activity.

The only legally cognizable issue raised by the latter contention is the sufficiency of the evidence. 1 Defendant is foreclosed from challenging the sufficiency of the evidence by his guilty plea. A plea of guilty amounts to an admission of every element of the crime charged. (People v. Jones, 52 Cal.2d 636, 651, 343 P.2d 577; People v. Sanchez, 24 Cal.App.3d 664, 693--694, 101 Cal.Rptr. 193; People v. Warburton, 7 Cal.App.3d 815, 821--822, 86 Cal.Rptr. 894.) Thus, the only question properly before us is the legality of the search and seizure (Pen.Code, §§ 1237.5, 1538.5(m)) attacked in the trial court (People v. O'Brien, 71 Cal.2d 394, 403--404, 79 Cal.Rptr. 313, 456 P.2d 969; People v. Wolder 4 Cal.App.3d 984, 995--996, 84 Cal.Rptr. 788; Thompson v. Superior Court, 262 Cal.App.2d 98, 103, 68 Cal.Rptr. 530).

The Facts

The search was effected and the incriminating evidence seized pursuant to a search warrant issued September 30, 1970, authorizing, so far as is here pertinent, a search of apartment 173 of the Casa Cordova Apartment complex at a specified address in Anaheim for heroin, narcotics paraphernalia and personal property tending to establish proof of the persons residing thereat. 2 The warrant issued on the basis of an affidavit made and presented to the magistrate that same day by Detective Winkler of the Anaheim Police Department.

The Affidavit

The substance of the affidavit is set forth in the following paragraph, some of which are numbered to facilitate identification and discussion hereinafter.

Detective Winkler was thoroughly trained and experienced in police work relating to the use, identification and packaging of narcotics and dangerous drugs and in the jargon used by persons relating to these activities. He knew the terms 'stuff,' 'piece,' 'bindle,' 'whites,' 'joint,' 'dime and a half,' 'coming down,' 'got burned,' and 'gram' to be part of the jargon used by persons engaged in the unlawful sale, packaging and use of narcotics and dangerous drugs.

On September 24, 1970, Detective Winkler was informed by a reliable, 3 confidential informant that he had that day gone to a specified address in Anaheim and discussed the purchase of heroin with one Marjorie Green, whom the informant knew 'from numerous previous dealings of narcotics and dangerous drugs.' Marjorie Green told the informant that 'all individuals wanting to purchase heroin were being referred to 'Wayne' in Apartment #173 at the Casa Cordova in Anaheim.' Marjorie Green was known to Detective Winkler 'by arrest records and photographs of the Anaheim Police Department.'

Detective Winkler went to the Casa Cordova Apartments in Anaheim and spoke to Mrs. Gilmore, the manager of the apartment complex. She informed him that Art Buchanan (defendant) had rented room number 67 on September 4, 1970. Detective Winkler knew defendant 'to be involved in the sale and use of heroin through numerous arrests with the Anaheim Police Department.' Mrs. Gilmore also told Detective Winkler that Wayne and Diane Ito rented apartment 173 on September 20, 1970. Before taking the apartment, they asked to see all vacant apartments on the third floor in the rear of the complex near an exit. Number 173 was such an apartment.

Mrs. Gilmore also informed Detective Winkler that the telephones in the apartments at the Casa Cordova Apartment complex are without dials; that the telephones in the apartments are connected to a switchboard operated by her or one of her employees; and that all incoming and outgoing calls must be placed through the switchboard operator. As set forth in the affidavit, Mrs. Gilmore, while performing her duties as switchboard operator and manager of the apartment complex, overheard several telephone conversations and observed various transactions, all occurring on September 23, 1970.

1. On September 23, 1970, Mrs. Gilmore, as the switchboard operator, connected an incoming call to apartment 173. She overheard an individual in that apartment identify herself as 'Diane,' and heard a male voice say, 'I want to buy some pieces.' Diane replied that she 'was out and would not have any until Saturday.'

2. Later the same day a male telephoned the Casa Cordova Apartments and asked to be connected to apartment 173. Diane answered the phone and the caller said in a panicky voice that 'he had to have some 'stuff'.' Diane replied that 'she only had a 'bindle' and that 'they' were hurting, too.' Diane told the male caller to come to the apartment. The caller said, 'I need a dime and a half.' Diane replied, 'OK.'

3. About five minutes later, Jim Puckett entered the Casa Cordova office and in exchange for a $20 bill asked for a $10 bill and two $5 bills.

4. When Puckett left the office of the Casa Cordova, Mrs. Gilmore observed him approach Diane Ito and both of them enter apartment 173.

5. Jim Puckett had previously been identified to Mrs. Gilmore by June Duncan, an employee of the Outreach Council which deals with rehabilitation of heroin addicts.

6. On September 23, 1970 an interapartment call was connected from apartment 67 to apartment 173. Mrs. Gilmore overheard the caller identify himself as 'Art,' and ask Diane for 'six whites and one joint.'

7. Following the foregoing telephone conversation, defendant left apartment 67 and went to apartment 173 and knocked on the door. Diane opened the door and, after a brief period, closed it, leaving defendant on the outside of the apartment. Moments later Diane reopened the door and handed defendant an article and defendant handed Diane an article in exchange.

8. At approximately 9:05 p.m. on September 23, 1970, a male individual telephoned and asked to be connected to apartment 67. The person who answered in apartment 67 identified himself as 'Art.' The caller identified himself as 'Williams.' Williams asked: 'Do you have any stuff?' Art replied: 'No, but I might be able to get some. How much do you need?' Williams responded: 'There's two of us coming down. I need a dime bag now. I don't want any bad stuff. I got burned on a gram this afternoon.'

9. At approximately 11 p.m. the same night, Diane placed an outside telephone call from apartment 173 to 'Charlie.' Diane told Charlie to get a bail bondsman to get 'Skip' out of jail so he could go to Mexico with Wayne Ito to get some 'stuff.'

Attached to and incorporated in the affidavit by reference is a police report dated September 23, 1970 made by Sergeant Floan of the Anaheim Police Department and reviewed by Detective Winkler before making his affidavit on September 30. The police report recites that June Duncan telephoned and stated that Jim Puckett 'is a 'smack head' and was recently released from prison and had been under her care at Outreach Council in Santa Ana. On September 23, 1970, Jim PUCKETT left the Outreach Council and was followed by Mrs. DUNCAN to (the Casa Cordova Apartments) where he went to Room #67. * * * A short time later PUCKETT went to Room #173 where he was observed to make a transaction with the persons in that room and then return to Room #67 where Arthur BUCHANAN is registered. Arthur BUCHANAN is known to be a smack dealer and the manager, Mrs. GILMORE, observed this transaction between PUCKETT and the people in Room #173 and it is her impression that this was a Narcotic transaction.'

On September 24, 1970, Detective Winkler conducted a surveillance of apartments 67 and 173 at the Casa Cordova. At 10:05 p.m. he saw Diane leave apartment 173, walk to apartment 67, look around as it to see if anyone was watching, and, then, enter apartment 67. The door to apartment 67 was opened by defendant, and another male was observed to be in apartment 67 at the time Diane entered. Approximately 20 minutes later, Diane left apartment 67 and returned to apartment 173. At 11:45 p.m. Diane left apartment 173 and drove away in a Ford stationwagon bearing California License JJN 511. Detective Winkler then drove to the specified address in Anaheim at which the reliable confidential informant had told him the informant had met with Marjorie Green, and Detective Winkler observed the Ford stationwagon bearing California License JJN 511 parked directly in front of the residence at that address.

On September 29, 1970, Detective Winkler conducted a second stakeout at the Casa Cordova Apartments. At 8:05 p.m. he observed Marjorie...

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