THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF WILLIAMSBURG AND COUNTY OF
JAMES CITY Charles J. Maxfield, Judge Designate
D. Fehrenbach (D.R. Dansby, Ltd., on briefs), for appellant.
C. Campbell, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring,
Attorney General, on briefs), for appellee.
Present: Judges Humphreys, Malveaux and Senior Judge
Annunziata Argued at Norfolk, Virginia
J. HUMPHREYS JUDGE
a conditional guilty plea, appellant Anthony Marquis Daniels
("Daniels") was convicted in the Circuit Court of
the City of Williamsburg and County of James City (the
"circuit court") of manufacturing or selling a
controlled substance, in violation of Code § 18.2-248,
and possession of marijuana, second or subsequent offense, in
violation of Code § 18.2-250.1. The circuit court
sentenced Daniels to serve ten years and thirty days in
prison, with five years suspended. On appeal, Daniels alleges
the following assignments of error resulting from the circuit
court's denial of his two motions to suppress:
1. The [circuit] court erred when it denied Daniels'
Motions to Suppress the Evidence in the apartment because the
search of the apartment violated Virginia Code Section
2. The [circuit] court erred when it denied Daniels'
Motions to Suppress the Evidence in the Toyota Avalon vehicle
because the court's reliance on the plain view exception
to the warrant requirement was clearly erroneous.
3. The [circuit] court erred when it denied Daniels'
Motions to Suppress the search of the vehicle, thereby also
denying Daniels' Motions to Suppress his inculpatory
statements as derivative from an illegal search.
27, 2016, Investigator David Rochard ("Investigator
Rochard") of the James City County Police Department and
a member of the Tri-Rivers Drug Task Force (the "task
force") was investigating a heroin overdose. The
overdose occurred two days earlier on May 25, 2017.
Specifically, the task force was investigating heroin
packaged in wax paper bags stamped with the word
"Miracle" in red ink. This specific packaging was
found at the scene of the overdose.
informant advised police that Daniels was the supplier of the
distinctively marked heroin. The informant also described the
apartment complex where Daniels resided and sold heroin and
mentioned that Daniels drove a "blue-green sedan . . .
probably a Toyota." The informant had previously
purchased heroin from Daniels behind the apartment complex.
Based upon this information, the task force determined that
Daniels resided at the "Regency at Longhill"
Rochard and the task force subsequently conducted
surveillance on the apartment complex. At some point, the
task force "located a vehicle that possibly matched the
description based upon the [informant's]
observations[.]" As Investigator Rochard and
Investigator John Graca ("Investigator Graca")
passed the vehicle, Investigator Rochard "positively
identified [Daniels] from a photograph that [he] had pulled
after having spoken with the witness" and based upon
information in a police database. Investigators Rochard and
Graca then observed the vehicle park in front of 5405 Lane
Place Drive, Apartment G. Daniels was riding in the passenger
seat of the vehicle with an unknown female driving. The
vehicle was registered to a female living at 5405 Lane Place
Drive, Apartment G.
8:21 p.m., Investigator Rochard applied for and obtained a
search warrant permitting a search of "the residence,
curtilage, outbuilding and vehicle[.]" However, the
search warrant that Investigator Rochard received did not
include the vehicle within its scope. After witnessing
Daniels and the unknown female enter the apartment, a police
SWAT team executed the search warrant. Daniels attempted to
flee from the top window of the apartment after the SWAT team
knocked on the front door. The SWAT team then made a forced
entry into the apartment and detained Daniels and the unknown
female. Inside, officers found a small amount of marijuana, a
digital scale, and approximately $1, 000 in cash. The unknown
female occupant was later identified as Valerie Kramer Burton
("Burton"), Daniels' fiancée. Burton was
the vehicle was being secured, Investigator Rochard received
a radio transmission from another officer that there was a
suspicious item, in plain view, inside the vehicle.
Investigator Rochard approached the vehicle and observed
through the car window, "from the passenger side looking
down[, ]" that the door handle contained "a bundle
of wax paper bag[s] . . . secured by a rubber band."
According to Investigator Rochard, "[i]n that bundle you
could see what appeared to be a red stamp. I couldn't
make out what it said but it was a red
stamp."Investigator Rochard believed that the
bundle was packaged heroin based upon his training and
opening the vehicle door and retrieving the bundle,
Investigator Rochard observed that the various packages
contained in the bundle were stamped with the word
"Miracle" in red. However, before he could see the
word "Miracle" clearly, Investigator Rochard needed
to remove the rubber band from the bundle and observe the
packages "a little more closely." Investigator
Rochard photographed the evidence and subsequently discovered
four additional bundles of heroin packaged in the center
console and trunk of the vehicle, totaling over one hundred
bags. At that point, Investigator Rochard informed Daniels of
his Miranda rights and explained what items were
discovered in the vehicle. Daniels admitted that the heroin
belonged to ...