U.S. v. Constantine, No. 77-1604

CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
Writing for the CourtBefore BRYAN, Senior Circuit Judge, and RUSSELL and WIDENER; PER CURIAM
Citation567 F.2d 266
Decision Date14 December 1977
Docket NumberNo. 77-1604
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellant, v. Mark Lewis CONSTANTINE, Appellee.

Page 266

567 F.2d 266
UNITED STATES of America, Appellant,
v.
Mark Lewis CONSTANTINE, Appellee.
No. 77-1604.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Argued Oct. 6, 1977.
Decided Dec. 14, 1977.

E. Leslie Hoffman, III, Asst. U. S. Atty., Charleston, W. Va. (John A. Field, III, U. S. Atty., Charleston, W. Va., on brief), for appellant.

Roger Turrell, Middletown, Ohio (William L. Redd, Huntington, W. Va., on brief), for appellee.

Before BRYAN, Senior Circuit Judge, and RUSSELL and WIDENER, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

Mark Lewis Constantine was arrested and indicted for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute it. 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). On March 7, 1977 the District Court granted the defendant's pretrial motion to suppress as evidence against him the cocaine seized by the police officer at the time of the arrest. From this order the Government appeals. 18 U.S.C. § 3731. We reverse, finding the seizure justifiable and the evidence admissible at trial.

Assigned to the midnight patrol shift, Officer Damon Sloan of the Huntington, West Virginia Police Department, was investigating a rash of window breakings and vandalisms committed in the downtown area. Around 1:40 a.m. on November 24, 1976 the officer observed Constantine leave his car, walk to a parked van with Ohio license plates and talk to the driver. Sloan drove a short distance beyond, then decided to return to where he had seen Constantine. Sloan was generally familiar with the people who frequented this part of Huntington late at night, but had never seen the defendant

Page 267

previously and no one else was on the street. Nearing him the patrolman stopped his car and motioned to the defendant, who was standing across the street, to come to the car. The officer's intention was to check for identification, to ask where Constantine had been and to ascertain why he was on the street at that late hour.

Constantine complied with the officer's request and walked over to the patrol car and leaned down to talk to the officer through the window. Sloan could then see a plastic bag containing a greenish, leafy substance protruding from a pocket inside Constantine's open ski jacket. The officer, recognizing the substance as apparently marijuana, reached through the window and into the pocket, removed the bag and found it did contain marijuana. Whereupon he got out of his vehicle, placed Constantine under arrest for possession of marijuana, at the same time informing him of his...

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27 practice notes
  • Sharpe v. U.S., Nos. 79-5314
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • September 4, 1981
    ...v. Bull, 565 F.2d 869 (4th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 946, 98 S.Ct. 1531, 55 L.Ed.2d 545 (1978); United States v. Constantine, 567 F.2d 266, 267 (4th Cir. 1977) (per curiam), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 926, 98 S.Ct. 1492, 55 L.Ed.2d 520 (1978); United States v. Dodier, 630 F.2d 232, 234......
  • State v. Choat, No. 17539
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 18, 1987
    ...fact' " to be considered in determining the reasonableness of the stop. Moore, supra at 1107, quoting United States v. Constantine, 567 F.2d 266, 267 (4th Cir.1977). Thus, the criminal propensity of a police officer's beat is a factor that a court may properly consider in assessing the reas......
  • Nocera v. New York City Fire Com'r, No. 94 Civ. 1624 (JGK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • March 31, 1996
    ...985 F.2d 151, 154 (4th Cir.1993); United States v. Moore, 817 F.2d 1105, 1107 (4th Cir.1987); see also United States v. Constantine, 567 F.2d 266, 267 (4th The cases on which the plaintiff relies do not establish that an arrest in a known drug location is not an objective factor that can be......
  • U.S. v. Trullo, No. 86-1728
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • January 13, 1987
    ...appropriate in considering whether an investigatory stop was proper."), cert. denied, 450 U.S. 994 (1981); United States v. Constantine, 567 F.2d 266, 267 (4th Cir.1977) ("An area's disposition toward criminal activity is an articulable fact."), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 926 (1978). Here, appe......
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27 cases
  • Sharpe v. U.S., Nos. 79-5314
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • September 4, 1981
    ...v. Bull, 565 F.2d 869 (4th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 946, 98 S.Ct. 1531, 55 L.Ed.2d 545 (1978); United States v. Constantine, 567 F.2d 266, 267 (4th Cir. 1977) (per curiam), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 926, 98 S.Ct. 1492, 55 L.Ed.2d 520 (1978); United States v. Dodier, 630 F.2d 232, 234......
  • State v. Choat, No. 17539
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 18, 1987
    ...fact' " to be considered in determining the reasonableness of the stop. Moore, supra at 1107, quoting United States v. Constantine, 567 F.2d 266, 267 (4th Cir.1977). Thus, the criminal propensity of a police officer's beat is a factor that a court may properly consider in assessing the reas......
  • Nocera v. New York City Fire Com'r, No. 94 Civ. 1624 (JGK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • March 31, 1996
    ...985 F.2d 151, 154 (4th Cir.1993); United States v. Moore, 817 F.2d 1105, 1107 (4th Cir.1987); see also United States v. Constantine, 567 F.2d 266, 267 (4th The cases on which the plaintiff relies do not establish that an arrest in a known drug location is not an objective factor that can be......
  • U.S. v. Trullo, No. 86-1728
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • January 13, 1987
    ...appropriate in considering whether an investigatory stop was proper."), cert. denied, 450 U.S. 994 (1981); United States v. Constantine, 567 F.2d 266, 267 (4th Cir.1977) ("An area's disposition toward criminal activity is an articulable fact."), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 926 (1978). Here, appe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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