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UNITED STATES v. TERRITO

March 21, 1985

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, against FRANCIS ANTHONY TERRITO, Defendant


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCLAUGHLIN

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

McLAUGHLIN, District Judge

 Defendant moves to suppress (1) evidence seized from him as an incident to his arrest on June 27, 1984; (2) certain statements he made to Agent John Counihan after his arrest on that day; and (3) evidence seized from a tan attache case found in the trunk of the automobile he was driving at the time of his arrest. For the reasons developed below, defendant's motions are denied.

 Facts

 At the suppression hearing, the Government's witnesses, whom I find credible, testified substantially as follows.

 In June, 1984, Adil Aziz was arrested at Kennedy Airport for importing heroin into this country from Pakistan. Aziz cooperated with the government by supplying the names of certain individuals involved in the heroin transaction, including those of Aftad Kadir and Shabbir Siddiqui. Following Kadir's arrest, the government focused on Siddiqui.

 Siddiqui telephoned Aziz several times to buy heroin from Aziz. At one point, Siddiqui proposed that Aziz deposit a sample of the heroin in an open window of an unoccupied black Chevrolet, license number 368 YKL, which would be parked near the Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn. At the government's request, however, Aziz insisted on a face to face meeting.

 On June 27, 1984, several DEA agents watched as a confidential informant, posing as Aziz, met Siddiqui near the Bossert hotel. The two men entered a nearby coffee shop where they discussed the transaction and exchanged the sample. The agents then observed Siddiqui and the informant leave the coffee shop and walk up the block to the fire hydrant across from the hotel. There, the men talked fro a few minutes until a black Chevrolet, license number 368 UKL, pulled up beside them. Siddiqui entered the car, and it began to pull away. Instantly the agents stopped the car and arrested Siddiqui and the car driver. the driver was the defendant, Francis Territo.

 Before driving Territo's car back to the DEA office in the United States Courthouse, Agent Counihan searched the driver's seat. he found a folding pocketknife and the sample packet of heroin given to Siddiqui. An inventory search conducted at the DEA garage by Agent Melvin revealed a note pad containing the address of the Bossert Hotel and a glass villa taken from the passenger compartment, as well as a tan attache case found in the trunk.

 Meanwhile, Territo had been placed in a lock-up room at the DEA office. Agent Counihan read Territo his Miranda warnings, and Territo indicated that he understood his rights and that he desired to speak to the agents. Agent Counihan then interrogated Territo for approximately ten minutes. During this interrogation, Territo gave oral consent to a search of the attache case. Shortly thereafter, Territo was arraigned before United States Magistrate A. Simon Chrein.

 Before a bail hearing held the next day, the prosecutor and one or more DEA agents again asked Territo and his counsel to consent to a search of the attache case. *fn1" Although Territo refused to sign a written waiver, he stated, nevertheless, that there were documents in the case, including a copy of the deed to his home.

 On June 28, 1984, the agents obtained a warrant to search the attache case. They then searched the case and seized its contents.

 Discussio ...


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