Appeal from Circuit Court, Multnomah County. Phillip J. Roth, Judge. No. C-72-09-2826.
J. Reynolds Barnes, Portland, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the brief were Sherwood, Barnes, O'Dell & Laman, Portland.
John W. Burgess, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Lee Johnson, Attorney General, and John W. Osburn, Solicitor General, Salem.
Langtry, Judge. Schwab, Chief Judge, and Fort, Judge.
Defendant appeals from conviction by the court of criminal activity in drugs: possession of heroin (ORS 167.207). The only assignment of error is that defendant's motion to suppress the evidence should have been allowed.
The search and seizure of heroin challenged by defendant's motion occurred at the Portland International Airport in an airline freight room where a customer service agent searched clothes taken from luggage which was to have been shipped by defendant from Portland to Beaumont, Texas. Defendant and
two other negro men had brought five pieces of luggage to the freight office for shipment. The agent testified that defendant declared the value of the personal possessions in the luggage at $5,000, which was the highest declared value for that class of property that the agent had experienced during several years in such work and hundreds of similar shipments.
The agent testified that when the defendant signed the shipping invoice he hesitated, and started as though he were going to sign a different name, and then signed the name "Paul Blackshear." The agent had knowledge of a notice that airport police had given to all airlines alerting them to the fact that negro persons, particularly two negro females, were suspected of recently shipping stolen clothing to other cities, particularly Los Angeles, from the Portland airport. The defendant was dressed in a "T" shirt and "old" levis but was wearing two large diamond rings. One of the suitcases would not lock and the defendant asked the agent to bind it additionally.
The above-related factors were testified to by the agent as causing him to be suspicious about the contents of the luggage. He testified he called his supervisor to be a witness to his opening the luggage to examine its contents. He said:
"The company policy is if we have a suspect shipment we should first get a supervisor or another witness before we open any suspect luggage."
"Q And do you know of your own knowledge why that [it] is that you ...