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People v. Gates

OPINION FILED APRIL 1, 1980.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

LANCE GATES ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. WILLIAM V. HOPF, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE LINDBERG DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The State appeals an order entered by the Circuit Court of Du Page County which quashed a search warrant and suppressed the evidence seized pursuant to the authority of the warrant. At issue is whether the warrant was sufficient under the standards set forth in Aguilar v. Texas (1964), 378 U.S. 108, 12 L.Ed.2d 723, 84 S.Ct. 1509, and Spinelli v. United States (1969), 393 U.S. 410, 21 L.Ed.2d 637, 89 S.Ct. 584. We affirm.

The facts are straightforward. On May 3, 1978, the Bloomingdale Police Department received a handwritten, anonymous letter which had no return address. The letter recited as follows:

"This letter is to inform you that you have a couple in your town who strictly make their living on selling drugs. They are Sue and Lance Gates, they live on Greenway, off Bloomingdale Road, in the condominiums. Most of their buys are done in Florida. Sue his wife drives their car to Florida, where she leaves it to be loaded up with drugs, than flys [sic] back after she drops the car off in Florida. May 3, she is driving down there again and Lance will be flying down in a few days to drive it back. At the time Lance drives the car back he has the trunk loaded with over $100,000.00 in drugs. Presently they have over $100,000 worth of drugs in their basement.

They brag about the fact that they never have to work, and make their entire living on pushers.

I guarentee [sic] if you watch them carefully you will make a big catch. They are friends with some big drug dealers, who visit their house often.

Lance and Sue Gates Greenway In Condominiums."

On the same day the letter was received, Detective Charles Mader of the Bloomingdale police department made an inquiry to the Secretary of State's office regarding the driver's license of one Lance Gates. The computer reply stated that an Illinois Drivers License had been issued to a Lance B. Gates, whose address was listed at 209 D, Dartmouth Drive, Bloomingdale, Illinois. His physical description was given as follows:

Sex — Male

Date of Birth — July 13, 1947

Height — 5'11"

Weight — 220 pounds

Hair — Brown

Eyes — Brown.

Later the same day, Detective Mader contacted a confidential informant. Detective Mader had known this informant for approximately two years during which time the informant had provided the detective with information which resulted in seven criminal convictions. This informant told the detective that Lance B. Gates' current address was 198 B. Greenway Drive, Bloomingdale, Illinois.

Detective Mader then called Officer Ott of the Chicago police department who at that time was assigned to O'Hare Airport. Officer Ott reviewed flight information and stated that L. Gates, phone number 980-8427, was scheduled to depart Chicago-O'Hare on May 5, 1978, on Eastern Airlines Flight 245, departing at 4:15 p.m. The ...


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