Abel v. United States,
362 U.S. 217 (1960)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Abel v. United States, 362 U.S. 217 (1960)

Abel v. United States

No. 2

Argued February 24-25, 1959

Restored to the calendar for reargument March 23, 1959

Reargued November 9, 1959

Decided March 28, 1960

362 U.S. 217


Immigration and Naturalization Service officers arrested petitioner on an administrative warrant for deportation, searched the hotel room where he was arrested, his person and his luggage, and seized certain articles. After petitioner had checked out of his hotel room, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation made a further search of the room, without a warrant but with the consent of the hotel management, and seized certain articles which petitioner had left there. The articles so seized were admitted in evidence over petitioner's objection at his trial for conspiracy to commit espionage, and he was convicted.

Held: These searches and seizures did not violate the Fourth or Fifth Amendment, and the use in evidence of the articles so seized did not invalidate petitioner's conviction. Pp. 362 U. S. 218-241.

1. On the record in this case, the Government did not use the administrative warrant of the Immigration and Naturalization Service as an improper instrument of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in obtaining evidence for a criminal prosecution. Pp. 362 U. S. 225-230.

2. Petitioner's claim that the administrative warrant under which he was first arrested was invalid under the Fourth Amendment is not properly before this Court, since it was not made below and was expressly disavowed there. Pp. 362 U. S. 230-234.

3. The articles seized by the immigration officers during the searches here involved were properly admitted in evidence. Pp. 362 U. S. 234-240.

4. Immigration officers who effect an arrest for deportation on an administrative warrant have a right of incidental search analogous to the search permitted criminal law enforcement officers incidental to a lawful arrest. Pp. 362 U. S. 235-237.

5. The search of the hotel room by an FBI agent without a warrant but with the consent of the hotel management, after petitioner

Page 362 U. S. 218

had relinquished the room, and the seizure of articles which petitioner had abandoned there were lawful, and such articles were properly admitted in evidence. Pp. 362 U. S. 240-241.

258 F.2d 485 affirmed.

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