People v. Gonzales

Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Justice Richard Lee Price

Gonzalez, charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, moved to suppress an undercover officer's identification of him, arguing it was not supported by the requisite probable cause. An officer received a radio transmission of a "positive buy" Gonzales engaged in with the undercover officer, which also gave a description of the buyer. Once Gonzales was apprehended, the undercover conducted a "drive-by" and positively identified Gonzales as the person from whom he bought drugs. Prosecutors argued that while the arresting officer was not present during the transaction, the undercover's first-hand experience may be imputed under the "fellow officer" rule. The court agreed finding as Gonzalez was in the area near the sale location, no other individuals matched the description given and he was positively identified by the undercover, probable cause to arrest existed. Also, the court noted based on the radio transmissions and the undercover's identification, officers had probable cause to approach and arrest Gonzalez. Further, the court ruled as the arrest was proper, there was no basis to suppress the identification of Gonzalez as product of an illegal arrest. Thus, Gonzales' motion was denied.

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