Photo: POLICE file
Suffolk County (N.Y.) Police detectives who detained two suspects, while officers searched a dwelling exceeded the scope of their search warrant, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the search was not reasonable. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in Bailey v. United States.
The detectives obtained a search warrant in July 2005, after getting a tip that a heavyset black man named "Polo" had a gun and drugs in his basement apartment, reports Courthouse News.
Detectives arrived at the Wyandanch location and saw two men matching the description of Polo leaving the residence in a black Lexus. Detectives followed the men for about a mile and pulled them over, while other officers began searching the apartment.
One of the men, Chunon Bailey, told the detectives he was coming from his home at the location listed in the warrant. Bailey, who was unaware of the search, had a key for the apartment and his driver's license showed an address identified by the confidential informant as Polo's former address.
Police placed Bailey and the other man, Bryant Middleton, in handcuffs and revealed that officers were searching the location. Bailey then told the detectives that he didn't live at the address.
After officers at the location found a firearm and 5 grams of cocaine, Bailey was arrested and charged. His attorneys argued that his statements and the key were obtained from an unreasonable search that violated his Fourth Amendment rights.
Warrantless Detention Case Heads to Supreme Court