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State v. Anderson

Supreme Court of South Carolina

March 2, 2016

The State, Respondent,
v.
Donald Marquice Anderson, Petitioner

Heard October 7, 2015.

Appeal from Greenville County. The Honorable G. Edward Welmaker, Circuit Court Judge. Appellate Case No. 2014-001968.

Carmen V. Ganjehsani, of Richardson, Plowden & Robinson, PA, and Appellate Defender Laura Ruth Baer, both of Columbia, for Petitioner.

Attorney General Alan M. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General Mary W. Leddon, and Assistant Attorney General Susannah Rawl Cole, all of Columbia, and W. Walter Wilkins, III, of Greenville, all for Respondent.

JUSTICE HEARN. PLEICONES, C.J., BEATTY, KITTREDGE, JJ., and Acting Justice Jean H. Toal, concur.

OPINION

Page 52

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS

HEARN, JUSTICE:

Donald Marquice Anderson was walking in the vicinity of a drug raid when police officers located in the periphery of the search ordered him to the ground. Upon searching him, officers found crack cocaine, and Anderson was thereafter indicted for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

Page 53

He moved to suppress the drugs, arguing the detention and subsequent pat-down were unlawful under the Fourth Amendment. The trial court denied his motion to suppress and, following a bench trial, found Anderson guilty as charged. The court of appeals affirmed in an unpublished opinion, finding the police had both reasonable suspicion to detain him and reasonable belief he was armed and dangerous to justify the pat-down. State v. Anderson, Op. No. 2014-UP-282, (S.C. Ct.App. filed July 9, 2014). We reverse.

FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Detective Keith Cothran of the Greenville Police Department obtained a no-knock search warrant for a house on Dobbs Street (the Dobbs house). The warrant was founded on surveillance and observations by officers of drug activity in the home and in the surrounding area, including a successful purchase of crack cocaine by a confidential informant. During surveillance, officers learned that runners used a footpath to ferry drugs from the Dobbs house to interested buyers on Sullivan Street. Nevertheless, the search warrant included only the Dobbs house and its curtilage; the warrant did not include the footpath.

As a part of the effort in executing the search warrant, Detective Cothran instructed officers in the vice and narcotics unit of the Greenville SWAT team, including Detectives Kevin Hyatt and Gary Rhinehart, to secure and detain any person found on the footpath because the police department knew the footpath was being used to transport drugs. [1] The two detectives were located near the Dobbs ...


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