United States v. Lindsey, 71-1298.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
Citation451 F.2d 701
Docket NumberNo. 71-1298.,71-1298.
PartiesUNITED STATES of America v. Bobby R. LINDSEY, Appellant.
Decision Date18 November 1971

451 F.2d 701 (1971)

Bobby R. LINDSEY, Appellant.

No. 71-1298.

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

Argued October 1, 1971.

Decided November 18, 1971.

451 F.2d 702

Domenic D. Toto, Goldstein & Toto, Maplewood, N. J., for appellant.

Theodore Margolis, Asst. U.S. Atty., Newark, N. J. (Herbert J. Stern, U.S. Atty., Newark, N. J., on the brief), for appellee.

Before SEITZ, Chief Judge, HASTIE, Circuit Judge and HERMAN, District Judge.


SEITZ, Chief Judge.

On this appeal from a conviction under the federal narcotics laws, 21 U.S.C.A. §§ 173, 174 (1961), the defendant contends the trial court erroneously admitted into evidence heroin allegedly seized in violation of the constitutional proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures.

On March 20, 1970, Marshal Brophy, an officer of the Anti-Highjacking Task Force, was monitoring passengers boarding Eastern Airlines Flight 427 bound for Atlanta, Georgia from Newark Airport. The Anti-Highjacking Task Force is an intergovernmental agency composed of Justice Department, Federal Aviation Administration and airline industry personnel who have been seeking solutions to the problem of airline highjacking. At approximately 11:55 p. m., about four minutes prior to the scheduled departure of Flight 427, Marshal Brophy observed defendant rush into the boarding lounge. Defendant handed a ticket to the ticket agent on duty and told him to "(s)ave a seat for Williams." It is not clear whether Marshal Brophy himself examined the ticket. However, the ticket agent noted it was in the name of "James Marshall," and made a gesture to Marshal Brophy, indicating defendant should be watched.

451 F.2d 703
His suspicions aroused, the marshal continued to observe the defendant. Defendant appeared nervous and was "looking about" and "perspiring."

When the moment of departure arrived, and the defendant moved towards the aircraft, Marshal Brophy approached defendant, identified himself and asked for identification. Defendant handed Marshal Brophy a Selective Service card bearing the name "Melvin Giles." The general indicia of extreme anxiety Marshal Brophy noted before seemed to increase. By way of further identification defendant produced a Social Security card bearing his true name "Bobby R. Lindsey."

In the course of ascertaining defendant's identity, Marshal Brophy noted two large bulges in defendant's coat pocket. Fearing the bulges might be weapons, the Marshal asked defendant to come with him to an area adjacent to but outside of the boarding lounge. There he patted down defendant to effect a weapons search. After feeling the bulges in defendant's coat pocket, which he described as "very solid," Marshal Brophy extracted from the pocket two aluminum-wrapped packages later found to contain the heroin which was the main prosecution evidence at trial. There was, of course, no search warrant.

Defendant contends the heroin was inadmissible evidence because it was obtained by an unlawful search and seizure. The government says that the heroin was lawfully seized under the circumstances, relying on Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968).

In Terry, the Supreme Court reviewed a conviction for carrying concealed weapons. The evidence against the petitioner had been obtained as the result of a search conducted on a public street by a plainclothes detective acting without a warrant. The suspicions of the detective had been aroused by observation of several men who appeared to be lingering an unusual length of time in front of a store window. The detective, although without having probable cause to arrest the subject of the search, stopped the petitioner and two others, asking their names. After they "mumbled" a response, the detective conducted a patdown or weapons search which turned up the weapon admitted against petitioner at trial. The Court, in upholding the validity of the search in Terry said, at 30, 88 S.Ct. at 1884:

"* * * where a police officer observes unusual conduct which leads him reasonably to conclude in light of his experience that criminal activity may be afoot and that the persons with whom he is dealing may be armed and presently dangerous, where in the course of investigating this behavior he identifies himself as a policeman and makes reasonable inquiries, and where nothing in the initial stages of the encounter serves to dispel his reasonable fear for his own or others\' safety, he is entitled for the protection of himself and others in the area to conduct a carefully limited search of the outer clothing of such persons in an attempt to discover weapons which might be used to assault him."

The court ruled that the detective formed a reasonable belief that criminal activity might have been afoot and that nothing in his reasonable preliminary inquiries dispelled his...

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  • People v. Lee, Cr. 10823
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 5, 1973
    ...rationale has recently been articulated in cases involving detentions respecting aircraft anti-hijacking programs. (See United States v. Lindsey, 451 F.2d 701, 703-704, cert. den. 405 U.S. 995. 93 S.Ct. 1270, 31 L.Ed.2d 463; United States v. Epperson, 454 F.2d 769, 771-772, cert. den. 406 U......
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    ...found when the passengers were extremely nervous); United States v. Sowers , 136 F.3d 24, 27 (1st Cir. 1998) ; United States v. Lindsey , 451 F.2d 701, 703 (3d Cir. 1971) ; State v. Dunbar , 434 N.J.Super. 522, 85 A.3d 421, 424 (Ct. App. Div. 2014).137 State v. Bergmann , 633 N.W.2d 328, 33......
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    ...denied, 409 U.S. 991, 93 S.Ct. 335, 34 L.Ed.2d 258 (1972); United States v. Epperson, 454 F.2d 769 (4th Cir.1972); United States v. Lindsey, 451 F.2d 701 (3d Cir.1971). 2 The use of a "profile" of "objective" characteristics to screen passengers thought to be potentially likely to hijack an......
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    ...interrogation" and more conducive to insuring the safety of other passengers in the crowded departure area. See United States v. Lindsey, 451 F.2d 701, 703-04 (3d Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 405 U.S. 995, 92 S.Ct. 1270, 31 L.Ed.2d 463 (1972). Moreover, while not dispositive, it is significant......
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