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KEVIN ADAMS v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Motion to suppress evidence — Stop and frisk

This is an appeal from Kevin Adam’s conviction, in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, for possession with the intent to distribute heroin near a school and possession with intent to distribute heroin, generally. Part of the State’s evidence against Adams was a digital scale, rubber gloves, and heroin obtained as a result of a traffic stop and frisk. Adams sought to exclude this evidence in a preliminary motions hearing, however, the court denied his motion and allowed the evidence at trial. He was subsequently convicted by a jury on both counts and sentenced to fifteen years incarceration, with all but five years suspended and three years of probation.

On appeal, appellant presents three questions for review:

1) Did the Circuit Court err when it failed to suppress the warrantless stop and frisk of Mr. Adams when he was stopped on private property for inapplicable transportation code violations?

2) Having ruled the chain of custody form inadmissible, did the Circuit Court err in admitting the heroin into evidence when there was unexplained visible tampering with the evidence bag between the time it was sealed by the officer at the scene and the time the chemist opened the evidence bag to analyze the suspected heroin?

3) Was the evidence sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to conclude that Mr. Adams was within 1,000 feet of a school at the time of the offense?

Read the opinion here: