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United States v. Hodge

decided: March 28, 1979.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JOHNNY EDWARD HODGE, LINDA S. JONES AND JAMES A. HERRIN, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. No. H 77-CR-96 - Phil M. McNagny, Judge.

Before Cummings and Sprecher, Circuit Judges, and Leighton, District Judge.*fn*

Author: Sprecher

The two major issues in this appeal are the effect of Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 99 S. Ct. 421, 58 L. Ed. 2d 387 (1978) upon standing to raise Fourth Amendment rights and our declination to adopt a Per se rule that contingent fee arrangements with informants are invalid.

I

In the middle of September, 1977, the Drug Enforcement Administration employed Karl Hobbs as a confidential informant. Shortly thereafter Hobbs contacted his second cousin, defendant James Herrin, in regard to the possible purchase of drugs. In the meetings which followed, Hobbs was customarily searched by government officers, was fitted with a Kel-Set body transmitter, and provided with a sum of currency, the serial numbers of which had been recorded. In addition, between September 30 and November 4, 1977 Hobbs was one of the parties to fifteen tape-recorded and monitored telephone calls in which drug purchases were discussed.

As a result of these activities, on October 28, 1977, Hobbs went to 1969 West 13th Avenue, Gary, Indiana, for the purpose of meeting defendant Linda Jones. Defendant Herrin arrived at the same time Hobbs did and both went to the second floor apartment where they met Linda Jones. Hobbs also heard defendant Johnny Hodge's voice coming from another room. Hobbs purchased a measured spoon of heroin for $400. Hobbs, Herrin and Jones discussed the quality of the drug and the amount of cutting it would require. The conversation was monitored on the Kel-Set.

After other recorded telephone calls, on November 4, 1977, Hobbs went to the same apartment where he met Hodge, who sold him two spoons of heroin for $725 and gave him a foil packet sample of cocaine as a gift.

On November 4, 1977, a search of the second floor apartment at 1969 West 13th Avenue, took place pursuant to a search warrant issued the same day. The search resulted in the seizure of a quantity of heroin and some of the marked currency.

Hodge, Herrin, Jones and Ruby Johnson, the lessee of the apartment, were indicted for unlawful distribution of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) (1) and for conspiracy to so distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. A jury found Ruby Johnson not guilty but the other defendants were found guilty.

Hodge, Jones and Herrin appealed on the grounds that (1) Linda Jones's motion to suppress evidence should have been granted; (2) the defendants' due process rights were violated by the government's hiring of a paid informant on a contingent fee arrangement; and (3) the district court erred in allowing recorded tapes to be played for the jury.

II

Only one defendant, Linda Jones, filed a motion to suppress. The only evidence she presented at the suppression hearing which connected her to the searched apartment was that she was present at the time of the search. There was uncontradicted evidence and the district court found that Ruby Johnson, the only defendant found not guilty by the jury, was the lessee of the apartment and paid $110 per month rent.

Linda Jones has relied upon the language in Jones v. United States, 362 U.S. 257, 267, 80 S. Ct. 725, 734, 4 L. Ed. 2d 697 (1960) that "anyone legitimately on premises where a search occurs may challenge its legality by way of a motion to suppress, when its fruits are proposed to be used against him." A few weeks after Linda Jones filed her brief in this court, the Supreme Court in Rakas v. Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 99 S. Ct. 421, 58 L. Ed. 2d 387 (December 5, 1978) abandoned the language "legitimately on premises" for the doctrine of "legitimate expectation of privacy in the premises" which are being used by a guest or friend. In the future, such situations are to be decided on a case-by-case analysis with "legitimate presence" a factor to be considered but not controlling.

In Jones itself, the apartment belonged to Evans who gave his friend Jones the use of it and a key with which Jones had admitted himself on the day of the search. Jones had a suit and shirt at the apartment, he had slept there "maybe a night," and at the time of the search Evans had been away in Philadelphia for about five days. Jones v. United States, supra, 362 U.S. at 259, 80 S. Ct. 725. The Court made clear that the friend or guest must be "legitimately" on the premises and "(t)his would of course not avail ...


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