OF JUDGMENT: 12/15/2017
HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON.
LISA P. DODSON TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
ERIN ELIZABETH BRIGGS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: JOEL SMITH
J. WILSON, P.J., GREENLEE AND McCARTY, JJ.
Following a jury trial, DeCarlos Holloway was convicted of
trafficking in a controlled substance and sentenced as a
nonviolent habitual offender to serve forty years in the
custody of the Department of Corrections. Holloway claims
that the trial judge erred by denying his motion to suppress
the cocaine found in the automobile in which he was a
passenger and in the house in which he was staying. We find
no error and affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The Gulfport Police Department received an anonymous tip that
Holloway was cooking crack cocaine and selling marijuana and
cocaine from a specific house on South Carolina Avenue. The
caller stated that he knew that Holloway was cooking cocaine
and selling drugs out of the house "right
now." Based on the tip, several officers
immediately began surveillance of the house.
Detective McCook was in an unmarked car within visual range
of the house while the other officers were in unmarked cars
nearby. A white Jaguar known to be Holloway's car was
parked at the house. After about thirty or forty minutes,
Jermaine Ratcliff arrived at the house in a Tahoe, and
Holloway exited the house and got in the Tahoe with Ratcliff.
McCook remained in place while the Tahoe left the house
traveling south on South Carolina Avenue and then turned left
onto Polk Street.
Detectives King and Brennan were parked on Polk Street facing
east and began driving toward the Tahoe. As their car
approached the Tahoe, King noticed that the driver was not
wearing a seatbelt and that the window tint on the Tahoe
appeared to exceed the legal limit. The officers made a
U-turn and followed the Tahoe as it continued west on Polk
Street. A few blocks later, they turned on their blue lights
and initiated a traffic stop. The Tahoe came to a stop near
the intersection of Polk Street and Ohio Avenue, and King and
Brennan exited their car and approached the Tahoe. The Tahoe
then suddenly accelerated away from the officers and turned
south on Ohio Avenue. King and Brennan returned to their car
and followed the Tahoe, and the Tahoe eventually came to a
stop again on Ohio Avenue. The officers again exited their
car and walked up to the Tahoe.
When King and Brennan approached the Tahoe, both of them
could clearly smell marijuana, and Brennan saw that Holloway
"was chewing and pouring a green leafy substance that
[Brennan] immediately recognized as marijuana into his
mouth." While King was talking to the driver (Ratcliff),
Brennan removed Holloway from the car and ordered him to put
his hands up and stop eating the marijuana. Holloway did not
comply, and Brennan placed him under arrest. Detective Olds
and Detective Fore arrived on the scene and began to search
the Tahoe. They found a plastic bag with marijuana residue in
the area where Holloway had been sitting. They also found a
tub with residue in the center console and a handgun in the
glove compartment on the passenger side.
A "hostile" crowd of a "dozen or more"
onlookers soon formed around the Tahoe. They were
"shouting aggressively" at the officers and refused
to disperse. Fore decided that it would be unsafe to continue
the search at the scene of the stop, and he told Brennan to
drive the Tahoe back to the house on South Carolina Avenue to
finish the search. Holloway and Ratcliff were taken to the
police station, and King went to apply for a search warrant
for the house. The other officers returned to the house ...