Commonwealth v. R.V. – Not Guilty

Narcotics Strike Force Officers set up surveillance to look for drug dealers. At a distance of 20 feet, a surveillance officer saw R.V. standing next to his co-defendant who was selling drugs to a white woman in a fur coat. She was arrested with one packet of heroin by back-up officers after leaving the area. Two other individuals arrived in a car, exited the vehicle and R.V. handed them objects from a bundle that he pulled out of his groin area. His co-defendant ran to another area where  a stash was hidden behind a vehicle. Upon return, he gave them heroin. After the two individuals left, they argued about whether they got the money  or not – which was overheard in detail by the surveillance officer. The two buyers were arrested shortly thereafter as they drove away. At this point back-up was called in to arrest R.V. and his co-defendant. They started to leave in opposite directions just as police vehicles arrived. Two separate stashes were found. R.V. was frisked for weapons, however no drugs were found on him. Officers testified that his groin area was not searched and that there was only a very quick safety frisk. R.V. further testified that the officers put him in the car to give him a thorough search. Once they pulled him off his seat, they found a bundle of crack that allegedly had fallen out of his groin area. Mr. Shaffer exposed the weaknesses of the Commonwealth’s case and ripped apart several inconsistencies. After the closing argument, the judge explained to the DA why he was finding R.V. not guilty despite all the evidence and focused on Mr. Shaffer’s arguments about the two stashes and the frisk.