One issue that comes up in Drug Crimes cases is whether or not the government Search warrant is valid. The government uses search warrants in Drug Crimes cases to enter a home and seize drugs that they believe exist in the house. Under the Pennsylvania constitution and case law, drug possession the government has to lay out several things in their search warrants:
•1) The warrant must specify the correct address and a description of the property or premises to be searched. The warrant should also name the occupant of the premises if known
•2) The affidavit of probable cause must lay out facts which would let a judge determine that seizable evidence will be found on the property to be searched.
•3) Court’s have held that a search warrant based on an anonymous tip may be permissible only if the officer who wrote the warrant puts down the reasons that he believes the informant is reliable
This issue in Drug Crimes and Search warrants of the reliability of informants is an important one. In Commonwealth vs. Sorrell a Pennsylvania Superior court case decided in 1983, a defendant was arrested based on information given to the police by the defendant’s brother who was also his co-defendant. controlled buys Specifically, the brother told the police that they had committed a robbery together and where the defendant and the gun used in the crime could be found. Using the information, the police couldn’t find the defendant but they did find the gun as a result of this information and a search warrant. The court found that there was no evidence that the brother was a truthful person. The reality is that the police should use corroborating evidence to prove that the informant used in a warrant is reliable. If they don’t then the search warrant can be struck down.