Friday, December 5, 2008

The Plain View Doctrine in Action - Cops Seize Vomit After Crook Spills His Guts

Cops find crack in his vomit
Published - Dec 05 2008 02:05PM CST | AP

A 25-year-old Detroit-area man literally spilled his guts to police and was arrested on a drug charge after officers found crack cocaine in his vomit. Police said the man swallowed the drugs after a short car and foot chase Tuesday about 20 miles northeast of Detroit.

Clinton Township police caught and were questioning the man when he threw up the crack cocaine and other contents of his stomach. The drugs were picked from the mess.

The man was jailed after being arraigned Wednesday on a controlled substance charge. He told police it was not his cocaine, that he was only safe-keeping it for a friend but was unable to recall the friend's name or where she lived. He has requested a court-appointed attorney.

Court observers wondered if the evidence could be suppressed under the exclusionary rule. Was the evidence "coughed up" by the suspect only as a result of the police chase and detention? Others were concerned about the odor of the evidence, its preservation until trial and the possibility of its disappearance prior to trial. Veteran drug users, awaiting arraignment, said vomit could not be smoked so there was little chance of its being lost.

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