Questioned After An Anonymous Call Defendant Found Guilty of Drug Charges

In Commonwealth v. White on the morning of July 12, 1994, Officer Traci Matthews of the New Kensington Police Department responded to an anonymous 911 call about possible drug activity at the King's Residence of the New Kensington public housing complex. The anonymous caller asserted that a black male, wearing a white shirt and white shorts, would exit the complex with drugs in his possession and get onto a girl's black bicycle. Officer Matthews drove to King's Residence and saw a girl's black bicycle outside the entrance to the complex. She circled the premises and returned to observe Appellant Lance White, a black male dressed in a primarily white T-shirt and white shorts, exit the complex and get onto a girl's black bicycle. Once White reached the street, Officer Matthews stopped him, questioned him briefly about the anonymous call, and began to pat him down for weapons. The officer testified that White appeared nervous during this detention and that before she could finish her pat-down search, he ran from her. Shortly thereafter, Sergeant Floyd Newingham saw White, ordered him to stop and directed him to walk towards him. As White approached Sergeant Newingham, he dropped a bag containing sixteen individually-wrapped bags of crack cocaine. Sergeant Newingham placed White under arrest. Challenging the legality of Officer Matthew's initial stop, White filed a motion to suppress the drug evidence. the trial court denied the motion and following a bench trial, found White guilty of possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and escape. The court sentenced White to a term of imprisonment of three and one-half to ten years. On appeal, the Superior Court affirmed White's judgment of sentence.