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04/05/89 the People of the State of v. Lynn L. Sedrel

April 5, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

LYNN L. SEDREL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

540 N.E.2d 792, 184 Ill. App. 3d 1078, 132 Ill. Dec. 870 1989.IL.478

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County; the Hon. James M. Bumgarner, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE WOMBACHER delivered the opinion of the court. STOUDER and SCOTT, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WOMBACHER

The defendant was convicted of unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. She appeals the denial of her motion to quash a search warrant and suppress evidence seized from the execution of said warrant, and her resulting conviction and sentence.

On October 27, 1987, the defendant, Lynn Sedrel, leased an apartment from Mr. James Haggerty on a month-to-month basis. She paid one month's rent and security deposit to Mr. James Haggerty (hereinafter Haggerty) on October 27, 1987. The lease permitted Haggerty to enter defendant's apartment at reasonable times to repair or inspect the premises. Defendant's lease contained a provision for a late charge to be assessed when rent was paid more than five days late. Throughout the existence of defendant's lease, Haggerty went to her apartment on several occasions, but found no one home on each occasion.

As of November 30, 1987, the Monday following Thanksgiving, Haggerty did not receive defendant's rent check for the next month. Haggerty received no notification from defendant the she intended to move and terminate her lease, nor did he give notice to defendant regarding the late payment of her rent or any other matter. After finding that no one answered at defendant's apartment, Haggerty asked two other tenants to accompany him into her apartment to determine if she still resided therein. Upon entering, Haggerty observed a scale resembling the type used to measure drugs. One of the other tenants noticed plastic bags containing a white soapy substance located within an open safe in a closet of defendant's apartment. Haggerty was not familiar with the appearance of cocaine, so he notified the police based only on his suspicion.

Haggerty related what he observed to the police when they arrived at the apartment. The police did not have a search warrant and indicated they believed they had insufficient information at that point to obtain one. Haggerty consented to their entry into and search of defendant's apartment. They removed a portion of the white substance, field-tested it, and determined it to be cocaine. Then they secured her apartment and obtained a search warrant.

The trial court found that Haggerty had a valid reason to enter defendant's apartment, entered after the termination of her lease, was not acting as an agent for the police, and therefore denied her motion to quash and suppress.

At trial, the same evidence was introduced regarding the events leading up to the search. In addition, defendant in her testimony claimed only to be a bookkeeper for Steven Spears, who was in charge of the cocaine operation and had possession of all the keys to the apartment. She stated she had no knowledge regarding the source of the cocaine or who Spears' customers were.

The State's expert analyzed approximately two ounces of cocaine. She weighed numerous other bags containing a white substance, which totalled about 26 ounces.

The trial court found defendant guilty, denied her post-trial motion, and sentenced defendant to a 7 1/2-year term of imprisonment. The court also fined defendant $33,800, the street value of the cocaine in the analyzed and unanalyzed bags.

The defendant claims the search of her apartment was unlawful because it was based upon invalid consent ...


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