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10/31/89 the People of the State of v. Robert Eugene Waddell

October 31, 1989




Before the informant could propose this alternate plan, Johnson called back to say that defendant was going to drive him from Bloomington to Chicago and back again in defendant's automobile. Johnson said that a person named Harris would also be accompanying them. Johnson requested the informant to telephone the appropriate connection in Chicago to arrange for the pick up of one-half ounce of cocaine. The informant told Johnson to notify him when they began the return trip. Nothing in the informant's conversation with King indicated defendant was going to be involved in the purchase or had any knowledge of the purpose for driving to Chicago. This informant had not mentioned defendant's name previously in connection with drug transactions in Illinois, but King assumed the confidential source knew defendant personally, as he did Johnson and Harris, because the source knew the color, make, and license-plate number of defendant's car. King admitted, however, the source's knowledge of the make and model of defendant's car could have been provided by Johnson.


546 N.E.2d 1068, 190 Ill. App. 3d 914, 138 Ill. Dec. 13 1989.IL.1718

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Livingston County; the Hon. Charles E. Glennon, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. KNECHT and GREEN, JJ., concur.


This is an appeal by the State from an order of the circuit court of Livingston County granting the motion of defendant Robert Eugene Waddell to quash the warrantless arrest of defendant. Defendant had been charged by information with the unlawful possession of less than 15 grams of a controlled substance. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1402(b).

After being charged by information, defendant filed several motions, including a motion to quash his arrest. The basis for the motion to quash the warrantless arrest was alleged to be that the arresting officers possessed no reasonable belief nor any reasonable grounds to believe defendant was committing an offense at the time defendant's vehicle was stopped approximately two miles north of Route 116 on Interstate 55 in Livingston County. The motion stated probable cause was allegedly supplied to the arresting officer by an informant, but "the identity, credibility, and reliability of said informant is so lacking and insufficient as to render the arrest illegal and unconstitutional for want of probable cause."

On January 9, 1989, a hearing was held on the various defense motions, including the motion to quash. Initially, the State presented the testimony of witnesses relating to defendant's motion to suppress all confessions, statements, or admissions. After the motion to suppress was denied, the State was allowed to examine Jean Stover, an employee of the Illinois State Police at the Morton laboratory. Stover was introduced as a witness in the State's case on the complaint for forfeiture of defendant's vehicle. Although the issue of forfeiture was not litigated on January 9, the parties agreed to allow Stover to testify at that hearing. Of significance to the case at bar was Stover's testimony that a powdery substance on a mirror found in the trunk of defendant's automobile was not shown to be a scheduled substance.

The only witness called to testify on defendant's motion to quash the arrest was Gary King, a sergeant with the Department of Criminal Investigation of the Illinois State Police. King testified that on August 18, 1988, a confidential source who had provided reliable information to King in the past advised him a person named Johnson telephoned the source earlier that day and asked to borrow the source's car for purposes of driving it to Chicago, where Johnson intended to purchase one-half ounce of cocaine. The informant called King to ask for advice. King advised his informant to offer to accompany Johnson to Chicago, but not to let them use the confidential source's vehicle. King did not know why Johnson did not drive his own car to Chicago.

The informant, after recounting the substance of the second conversation with Johnson, advised King that Waddell owned a 1979 gold Toronado Oldsmobile with "Dollar 4" on the license plates. The informant also advised King that Johnson would be carrying the cocaine in the crotch of his pants.

At approximately 6 p.m., the confidential source telephoned Johnson's connection in Chicago and learned that the sale had been completed and that Johnson and the others had just left for Bloomington. The informant telephoned King to advise him of these facts. King and the source estimated that the trio would arrive in Bloomington in about two hours. King testified the police had independently confirmed the fact that Johnson, Waddell, and Harris had driven to Chicago.

On the basis of this information, King and six other police officers stopped defendant's car at approximately 8 p.m. on Interstate 55 in Livingston County, near Bloomington. Defendant was driving the car, which was the color and make the confidential source had described and bore "Dollar 4" license plates.

According to the testimony given at the hearing on the motion to suppress by Officer Kirk Lonbom, police officer for the city of Clinton, by Trooper Paul Steidinger of the Illinois State Police, and by Michael Bernardini, special agent with the Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation, the defendant, Johnson, and Harris exited the vehicle and were frisked for weapons. A packet, which subsequent chemical analysis revealed contained 13.9 grams of a white powdery substance containing cocaine, was found in the crotch of Johnson's pants. Defendant, Johnson, and Harris were placed in handcuffs upon exiting the vehicle. Defendant gave the police permission to search his car. The vehicle was searched by an officer using a dog. Among the things found in the trunk of the car was a mirror which was covered with a white powdery residue. As noted earlier, the subsequent chemical analysis of the white powdery residue from the mirror failed to reveal the presence of a controlled substance. The record does not indicate whether defendant was handcuffed before or after consenting to the search of the vehicle, but it is clear defendant was handcuffed prior to the search. This detainment lasted 15 to 20 minutes.

Following Sergeant King's testimony, defense counsel asked the court to rule on the motion to quash. The State's Attorney objected to a summary ruling at that point on the ground he had not been given an opportunity to present his own evidence and he wanted to call the confidential source, who had not been subpoenaed for the hearing, but who could possibly provide relevant testimony on the issue of probable cause to arrest if the court would grant a short continuance. The State's Attorney did not advise the court when the witness would be available to testify, even though asked to do so, and merely informed the court that the need for the witness was not anticipated for this hearing. Defense counsel stated the State's request might be justified had King equivocated as to what was said about defendant, but he was opposed to a continuance where King did not express uncertainty about the substance of the information the confidential source related to him. The State's Attorney countered with the argument that the confidential source would testify that on August 18 he related more information to Sergeant King regarding the drug transaction than King recalled and recounted in his testimony at this ...

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