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State v. Lamb

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department C

July 9, 2013

DAVID LEE LAMB, Appellant.

(Not for Publication – Rule 111, Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court)

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. CR2009-006230-001 The Honorable Peter C. Reinstein, Judge.

Thomas C. Horne, Attorney General Phoenix by Joseph T. Maziarz, Chief Counsel Criminal Appeals/Capital Litigation Division and Robert A. Walsh, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Appellee.

James J. Haas, Maricopa County Public Defender Phoenix by Mikel Steinfeld, Deputy Public Defender Attorneys for Appellant.



¶1 David Lee Lamb ("Lamb") appeals his convictions for possession of narcotics and marijuana, arguing the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress and abused its discretion in admitting newly-disclosed evidence at the suppression hearing. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.


¶2 On May 4, 2012, the trial court held a hearing on Lamb's motion to suppress after this Court remanded the case for an evidentiary hearing on the motion. The evidence at the hearing[1] revealed that Lamb was one of fifty individuals that police targeted in a roundup of alleged members of the Westside City Crips street gang suspected of drug trafficking. Police sought to arrest the suspects on arrest warrants based on a wiretap and accompanying surveillance.

¶3 Police suspected Lamb based on two phone calls made on March 10, 2008. In the first call, Lamb's girlfriend phoned one of the targets of the wiretap investigation to make arrangements to obtain PCP. In the second call, Lamb phoned forty-five minutes later to the same drug dealer stating that he wanted to pick up some PCP. The dealer explained to Lamb that his girlfriend had already picked up the drugs, and she should be returning to Lamb's location. The police, however, had stopped Lamb's girlfriend and found the PCP and marijuana.

¶4 On March 19, 2008, law enforcement officers were briefed on the drug trafficking investigation, dubbed "Operation Sidewinder." The material in the briefing included a thumbnail photo of Lamb and a probable cause packet with a larger photo and other identifying information.

¶5 Officers drove to the Westside City Crips' neighborhood in south Phoenix, between Grant Street and I-17, and 7th and 19th Avenues. The officers considered the neighborhood violent and dangerous, "very anti-police, " occupied by people "known to carry guns and use them." Both officers had been the victim of one or more aggravated assaults in the neighborhood.

¶6 When the officers saw Lamb sitting on a bicycle in a dirt lot, both officers believed he was one of the alleged suspects. When they asked him for his name and identification and told him to stop, Lamb "got back on his bike and began pedaling away." Lamb eventually stopped after officers caught up with him and again ordered him to stop. As the officers approached, they smelled a strong odor of marijuana. At that point, one of the officers "definitely recognized him as one of the individuals that we were looking for, " although the officer did not know which one. Because they did not know "if he was running because he was a suspect in a homicide, or what, or if he was armed, " the officers ordered him to the ground, cuffed him, and patted him down for weapons.

¶7 The officers learned Lamb's name when one of them felt a hard object during the frisk and, with Lamb's consent, pulled a prescription bottle from his pocket, and Lamb acknowledged that his name was on the bottle. The officers walked him over to the police cruiser and placed him, still handcuffed, in the back seat while they consulted the photographs distributed during the briefing. Another officer, who knew Lamb, arrived and personally confirmed his identity. In all, the officers' identification of Lamb as one of the alleged suspects took less than ten minutes. The entire encounter, from the time Lamb was ordered on the ground and handcuffed until he left in the police car, was videotaped by a person in the neighborhood and lasted about fourteen minutes.

¶8 While Lamb was in the cruiser, both officers observed him pulling marijuana out of his jacket and dropping it on the back seat. When the officers reached a safer location, they searched him incident to his arrest and found crack cocaine and marijuana. The officers booked him on charges of possession for the drugs.Several weeks later, based on the March 10, 2008 phone calls, a Grand Jury indicted Lamb, his girlfriend, and others on charges of conspiracy, solicitation of an offer to sell or transfer ...

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