ARREST/SEARCH DISCUSSION PROBLEM
Officers believe that Dan Doper is engaged in drug activity. Unfortunately, their efforts to collect evidence of such activity have been unavailing, although their suspicions continue to remain high. Local police would love an opportunity to get into Doperís house and see what they can find.
Recently, Officer Oliver discovered that there is an outstanding arrest warrant for Doper for failure to appear on a moving traffic violation. Oliver sends an officer to watch Doperís house. He sees Doperís car in the driveway and observes lights on in the house. He radios this information to Oliver, who knows from his investigation that Doper lives alone. Oliver then rounds up several other officers and they go to Doperís house.
Upon arrival, two officers cover the back while Oliver knocks on the front door. When Doper comes to the door, Oliver announces "police." Doper slams the door and retreats into the house. Oliver forces the door open and he and the three other officers enter the home. Oliver finds Doper in a bathroom in the basement trying to flush white powder down the toilet. Oliver places Doper under arrest and searches him. The search reveals a book that appears to contain a list of names and amounts. Oliver recognizes some of the names as known drug users. He seizes the book. Officer Stevens, responding to Oliverís radio report that he has found and arrested Doper, comes down to the basement bathroom. As Oliver takes Doper from the bathroom in handcuffs, Stevens searches the cabinets in the bathroom. He finds more drugs, which he seizes.
While Oliver is locating and arresting Doper, Officer Rogers enters a den in the basement and sees several baggies and a scale on the table. She seizes them. In a cabinet in a wall unit in the den she finds an additional quantity of drugs, which she also seizes. Officer Powers goes upstairs and enters a bedroom. He opens a closet and sees a shotgun, which he seizes. Once he hears the radio report of the arrest, he leaves the upstairs and comes down to join the others on the main level. When he does, he passes through the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, walks through the dining room and enters the kitchen. On a counter, he sees a paper bag. He opens the bag and finds a large quantity of glassine baggies often used for packaging drugs. He seizes the baggies. He also seizes a scale on the counter.
Discuss the legality of all search and seizure activity occurring above.
Would the analysis change if officers believed the criminal activity was occurring at Doperís girlfriendís house, and waited until he was there to execute the arrest warrant at her home? Why or why not?