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January 24, 1978



The opinion of the court was delivered by: OBERDORFER

On November 29, 1977, defendant was indicted by a federal grand jury which charged him with felonious violation of federal and District of Columbia narcotics laws. *fn1" Defendant had been arrested on September 18, 1977 by District of Columbia police. After the arresting officers stopped defendant's automobile and began searching it for a suspected gun, they found marijuana and several hundred, then unanalyzed, pills concealed in the vehicle. The defendant was arrested, transported to police headquarters, and released from there on a surety bond. On September 20, defendant was charged with D.C. Code violations in an information filed in D.C. Superior Court by the United States Attorney. On about October 12, the laboratory reported that the several hundred pills were LSD. On October 27, the United States Attorney dismissed the D.C. charges without prejudice; on November 29, the instant indictment was returned.

 Pointing to the elapse of 72 days from the time of the arrest and seizures until the pending indictment, defendant moves to dismiss pursuant to the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. ยง 3161, et seq. After hearing testimony of some of the arresting officers, a complaining witness and the defendant, and after examination of documentary evidence and consideration of the arguments and representations of counsel, the Court is persuaded that the lapse of time between the September 18 arrest and the November 29 indictment did not violate the Speedy Trial Act as it applies in the District of Columbia because the defendant was not previously charged in a complaint for the offense to be prosecuted in this Court. Local Rule 2-7 para. 4(a). See also para. 4(c). Therefore, the Motion to Dismiss will be denied.

 The defendant also moved to suppress evidence that was seized in connection with the arrest. As will more fully appear from the facts stated below, the search which produced that evidence flowed rationally and appropriately from the original arrest. The Court therefore will confirm its decision from the bench on January 13, 1978 denying that motion.

 The sequence of relevant events began at about 1:20 a.m. on September 18, 1977 when several police officers heard a police radio broadcast for "a man with a gun." The radio report was based on a telephone call received at police headquarters from a complainant that a friend of hers had a gun and had threatened her. The first police officer approaching complainant's residence observed an automobile emerge from an adjacent parking lot without lights, turn briefly onto the street and then turn into an alley. This officer followed the automobile, stopped it in the alley and questioned the occupant. By police radio and by questioning, the officer identified the occupant as the person suspected of possessing a gun and making threats. A frisk of the defendant produced no weapons or other evidence. Thereupon, the officer began to search the defendant's automobile and discovered marijuana and some pills in a box there. When the officer discovered the marijuana, he handcuffed defendant, placed him under arrest, and put him in a police cruiser.

 Meanwhile, another officer arrived at the complainant's residence where he questioned her. She showed that officer a gun which she identified as belonging to the defendant and which she had been keeping for him. She then accompanied that officer to the place where defendant's automobile had been halted and he was being detained. She advised the officers that defendant owned still another gun which he sometimes carried in his automobile. The officers, while detaining defendant in a police cruiser at the scene of the arrest, continued their search of his automobile. In the course of this continued search, they found no gun, but discovered, concealed behind the instrument panel of the automobile, several hundred more pills which they suspected to be LSD. Defendant was then transported, together with the evidence, to police headquarters.

 The police prosecution report identified the items recovered from defendant's vehicle at the scene of the arrest as:

5 manilla envelopes containing green weed
(1) empty manilla envelope
6 plastic bags containing green weed 1 plastic bag containing 3 blk capsules, 22 yellow tablets and 940 purple pills
one.32 cal revolver serial #636373.

 The report stated the facts "surrounding the offense and the arrest" as follows:

[After the defendant's car was stopped,] [the] Def. was . . . frisked . . which proved negative. I then searched the front seat of the auto and observed a box under the passenger seat large enough to conceal a revolver. The box was removed at which time I observed a clear plastic bag containing a green weed. The box was then removed and found to contain 6 manilla envelopes, (5 full and 1 empty) containing a green weed. Also 6 plastic bags containing a green weed. Also (1) clear ...

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