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EVIDENCE a trial court erred in failing to suppress drug evidence seized in a warrantless search of a home because police conducted an unlawful protective sweep, the Utah Court of Appeals held on June 5. State v. Grassi, No. 20010146. Police arrested Albert Grossi after a domestic dispute. While in a police cruiser, Grossi told police he wanted to secure his apartment. The officers said they would lock the apartment, and, while doing so, they conducted a protective sweep, claiming it was necessary because a woman was in the apartment. They found cocaine in plain view, and Grossi was convicted of possession. Grossi appealed, challenging the legality of the sweep. In reversing, the court held that the protective sweep was unlawful, making the evidence inadmissible. The court said, “Because the protective sweep was not justified, [the officer] was not lawfully present in the room where the evidence was seized. Therefore, the warrantless search and seizure cannot be upheld on the plain view exception to the search warrant requirement.”

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