California Cases Upholding Warrantless Entries to Secure a Residence

In Ferdin v. Superior Court (1974) 36 Cal. App. 3d 774, there was compelling evidence that defendant's residence was the source of narcotics found in a drug runner's vehicle and it was reasonable to believe the defendant would learn of the runner's arrest--either by his failure to return or because the person who was to receive the delivery would contact him--and would destroy evidence. (Ferdin, at p. 781.) In People v. Freeny (1974) 37 Cal. App. 3d 20, the defendant left his residence to conduct a narcotics sale and was arrested en route to the transaction. The defendant's wife received the telephone call initiating the transaction, and the appellate court concluded it would be reasonable to assume she would learn of the defendant's arrest and destroy evidence before a search warrant could be obtained. (Freeny, at pp. 32-33.) In both Ferdin and Freeny, the evidence established that individuals inside the residence were connected with the drug activity observed and were likely to become alerted that their involvement had been discovered. In addition, in each case, there was a factual basis for the law enforcement officers to believe that narcotics were being supplied from the residence and that payment would be expected in a short time.