Alexander Donn, for appellant.
M. Castellano, for respondent.
was convicted, following a jury trial, of criminal possession
of a weapon in the second and third degrees, and unlawful
possession of marihuana. Prior to trial, defendant moved to
suppress a firearm recovered from his vehicle. At the ensuing
hearing, a police detective testified regarding the
circumstances of defendant's arrest and the challenged
to the hearing testimony, the detective was assigned to a
joint task force responsible for executing parole warrants,
as well as investigating and apprehending parole absconders.
The detective and his partner received a warrant for
defendant's arrest that was issued as a result of
numerous alleged parole violations. During their attempts to
locate defendant, the detectives contacted his former
girlfriend and provided her with their contact information in
the event that she saw defendant. On the day in question,
that girlfriend telephoned one of the detectives and informed
him that defendant could be found in his vehicle at a
specific location. However, when the detectives arrived at
the location, defendant's vehicle was not present.
detectives left but, shortly thereafter, received another
telephone call from the girlfriend. According to the
testifying detective, she was "frantic" and relayed
that defendant was in his vehicle with her son, who had
informed her that there was a firearm in the car. The
detectives returned to the same location and observed that
defendant's vehicle - identified through Department of
Motor Vehicle records and information provided by the
girlfriend - was present, but unoccupied, and the hood of the
car was warm to the touch. The detectives arrested defendant
in the apartment at that location, where he was present with
the girlfriend's son. Following defendant's arrest on
the parole warrant, the testifying detective entered and
searched the vehicle for the firearm that had been reported;
he found the weapon in a bag in the back seat.
Court denied defendant's suppression motion, relying on
both defendant's parolee status and the tip that
defendant had a gun in his vehicle. Upon defendant's
appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed (130 A.D.3d 651');">130 A.D.3d 651 [2d
Dept 2015]), and a Judge of this Court granted leave to
appeal (lv granted 26 N.Y.3d 1090');">26 N.Y.3d 1090 ).
primary argument on this appeal is that the search was
unlawful under our holding in People v Huntley (43
N.Y.2d 175, 181 ) because it was premised wholly on his
status as a parolee, but was conducted by police officers,
not by his parole officer. Under the circumstances of this
case, defendant's argument is unpersuasive.
stated in Huntley that a parolee does "not
surrender his [or her] constitutional rights against
unreasonable searches and seizures" merely by virtue of
being on parole (id.). However, we relied on the
dual nature of a parole officer's duties and a
parolee's reduced expectation of privacy to hold that a
parolee's constitutional right to be secure against
unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated when a
parole officer conducts a warrantless search that is
rationally and reasonably related to the performance of the
parole officer's duties (see id. at 180-182).
Huntley, we distinguished between parole officers
and police officers, noting that searches that may be
reasonably justified if undertaken by a parole officer are
not necessarily constitutional if undertaken by a police
officer (see id. at 181). Nevertheless, we
concomitantly observed that, "in any evaluation of the
reasonableness of a particular search or seizure, "
whether undertaken by parole or police officers, "the
fact of defendant's status as a parolee is always
relevant and may be critical" (id.).
facts presented here, Huntley does not compel the
conclusion that the search was unconstitutional (see
43 N.Y.2d at 181). The detectives had a high degree of
individualized suspicion based on a tip from a known
individual - who correctly identified defendant's vehicle
and its location - indicating that defendant had a firearm in
his vehicle, the recent arrival of which was corroborated by
the absence of the vehicle during the detectives' earlier
visit and the warmth of the hood. In light of this tip, taken
together with defendant's reduced expectation of privacy,
there is support in the record for the conclusion that the
search of defendant's vehicle was lawful and reasonable
(see id.) . Accordingly, defendant's
suppression motion was properly denied.
also contends that the trial court erred in rejecting as
pretextual his proffered race-neutral reason for exercising a
peremptory challenge as to a prospective juror. Inasmuch as
our review of the trial court's pretext determination is
limited to whether it is supported by the record (see
People v Hecker, 15 N.Y.3d 625, 657 , cert
denied 563 U.S. 947');">563 U.S. 947 ), and we conclude that such
support exists, reversal is not warranted. We agree with the
Appellate Division that defendant's remaining arguments,
to the extent preserved, similarly lack merit.
the order of the Appellate ...