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PEOPLE v. THOMAS

Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, Shasta

October 19, 2001, Filed

C033220

Opinion

After the trial court denied his motion to suppress, defendant James Burrel Thomas II entered a negotiated plea of no contest to possession of methamphetamine for sale (Health & Saf. Code, § 11378) in exchange for felony probation and dismissal of three remaining charges. Defendant contends the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence pursuant to Penal Code section 1538.5, arguing: (1) the probation search was initiated for arbitrary reasons and conducted in an unreasonable manner; (2) defendant did not voluntarily consent to the search; (3) the probation search exceeded its permissible scope; and (4) there were no exigent circumstances to justify [*2]  the search. We affirm.

 BACKGROUND

The following facts were adduced at the combined preliminary hearing and hearing on defendant's motion to suppress: 1

In March 1999, defendant and his wife, Gail Thomas, shared a residence in Shasta County. Ms. Thomas was on probation at the time and was on a deferred entry of judgment and searchable. Defendant and his wife were, however, separated and had separate bedrooms. Defendant's bedroom was not a common area.

On March 6, 1999, Officer Berg received information that there was narcotics activity and sales taking place at the Thomas residence. The information was that defendant was conducting narcotics transactions. Defendant was not on any type of searchable probation.

 [*3]  The following night, at about 10:45 p.m., Officers Berg and Maready went to the Thomas residence with the intention of performing a probation search. Ms. Thomas answered the door, confirmed she was on probation and allowed the officers to enter the residence.

When the officers entered the residence, Officer Berg observed defendant in his bedroom kneeling by his dresser. Officer Maready began a routine "protective sweep" of the residence to make sure no other persons were present. Ms. Thomas called out for defendant and defendant came to the front of the residence to speak with Officer Berg.

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2001 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2491 *; 2001 WL 1261933

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. JAMES BURREL THOMAS II, Defendant and Appellant.

Notice:   [*1]    NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS. California Rules of Court, rule 977(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 977(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 977.

Prior History: Super. Ct. No. 99F2143.

Disposition: Affirmed.

CORE TERMS

bedroom, trial court, protective sweep, probation search, probationary, circumstances, bong, consent to search, consented, probation, bed, methamphetamine, probationer, suppress