People v Catan; G.R. No. 92928; 21 Jan 1992; 205 SCRA 235

in Legal Chyme by

A team of operatives rushed inside appellant’s house to arrest him after a “buy-bust” operation and conducted a search of the premises in the presence of a barangay official, the house owner and appellant himself. The search yielded dried marijuana fruiting tops and seeds.

Whether or not the arrest and search were valid.

YES. Appellant was arrested in flagrante delicto in the act of selling and delivering marijuana to the poseur-buyers. The subsequent search of his house which immediately followed yielding other incriminating evidence, and which became the basis of his conviction for possession of a prohibited drug, was a search contemporaneously made and as an incident to a valid warrantless arrest in the immediate vicinity where the arrest was made. That is a recognized exception to the general rule that any search and seizure must be supported by a valid warrant.

Judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED in toto.

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