NOVA LAW REVIEW
ILSA JOURNAL OF INT’L & COMPARATIVE LAW
2021 WRITE-ON COMPETITION PROMPT
Pablo Escobar is a drug lord in the once peaceful city of Shepard in the state of Nova. Police Officer Tom Barnaby received an anonymous tip that Escobar was selling drugs out of his house. Officer Barnaby stopped by the house intermittently for surveillance. During one period of surveillance, he saw Gustavo Gaviria leave the house and walk to a nearby convenience store. Officer Barnaby ordered Gaviria to stop in the store’s parking lot. Officer Barnaby identified himself as a police officer, stated that he had been monitoring the house for drug activity, and asked Gaviria to explain why he had been at the house. During this exchange, Gaviria provided, at Detective Barnaby’s request, a Nova identification card.
Officer Barnaby then asked his dispatcher to determine whether Gaviria was subject to any outstanding warrants. When the dispatcher reported that Gaviria was subject to an outstanding warrant for forged lottery tickets, Officer Barnaby arrested him. Officer Barnaby then searched him and discovered a bag filled with a white powdery substance that was later identified to be cocaine. Gaviria is charged in Nova state court with one count of possession of a controlled substance. Gaviria moved to suppress the evidence of the contraband seized from his pockets, arguing that it had been obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
You are the law clerk for the judge in this case. The judge has asked you to write a memo of law on the following issue:
Whether evidence seized incident to a lawful arrest on a valid warrant is admissible notwithstanding that an officer learned of the outstanding warrant during an unlawful investigatory stop.