People v. DelapenaAnnotate this Case
A resident called police after seeing unfamiliar people entering a property that was under construction. Two men emerged, wearing baggy clothing, with “a lot of bulges in their pockets,” which made officers concerned about safety. One man said that he did construction work at the property. The other, Delapena, refused to consent to a search, but admitted he had a knife. Officers conducted the pat search anyway, since defendant had admitted to possession of a weapon. Patting down Delapena’s rear pockets, the officer felt “the distinctive shape of a meth pipe.” He removed the pipe, placed Delapena under arrest, conducted a search incident to arrest, and found containers of methamphetamine. After his motion to suppress was denied, Delapena pleaded no contest to felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. He was placed on Proposition 36 probation for two years. The court imposed conditions, including one that bars Delapena from possessing or consuming illegal drugs or alcohol, and one that bars him from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. The court of appeal affirmed the sentence, but modified the conditions regarding illegal drugs and firearms to require that violations be knowing. The court upheld denial of the motion to suppress and rejected an argument that his conviction of felony possession of methamphetamine must be reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to Proposition 47.