Commonwealth v. T.D.
Police on routine patrol observed a car driven by T.D. fail to use a turn signal. Due to the fact that T.D. did not have a valid driver’s license and the car was a rental, police asked him to step out of the car. At the same time, another officer noticed that the front seat passenger began spitting out packets of crack cocaine. In total, police recovered 37 packets of crack from him. Due to those facts, and because the police considered the area a “high crime area”, T.D. was frisked. During the frisk, police recovered a large amount of crack cocaine. Also recovered from the center console of the car was over $5,000 in cash. T.D. and the passenger were both arrested and charged with Possession With Intent to Deliver (PWID) and Conspiracy. At a motion to suppress physical evidence, the defense argued that the police failed to articulate appropriate facts to justify the frisk, and that the frisk was performed illegally. A judge agreed and all evidence recovered from T.D. were suppressed.