LEWIS V. UNITED STATES, 385 U. S. 206 (1966)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lewis v. United States, 385 U.S. 206 (1966)

Lewis v. United States

No. 36

Argued October 17, 1966

Decided December 12, 1966

385 U.S. 206


An undercover federal narcotics agent, by misrepresenting his identity on the telephone, was twice invited to the home of petitioner for the purpose of executing unlawful narcotics transactions. Petitioner was thereafter indicted and convicted under 26 U.S.C. § 4742(a). Rejecting petitioner's motion to suppress the purchased narcotics as illegally seized without a warrant, the trial court found petitioner guilty, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: the facts of this case present no violation of the Fourth Amendment.

(a) The Government's use of decoy's and undercover agents is not per se unlawful. Pp. 385 U. S. 208-209.

(b) The petitioner invited the agent to his home for the very purpose of illegally selling him narcotics. Gouled v. United States, 255 U. S. 298 (1921), distinguished. Pp. 385 U. S. 209-210.

(c) When the home is opened as a place of illegal business to which outsiders are invited for commercial purposes, the Fourth Amendment is not violated when a government agent enters pursuant to an invitation and then neither sees, hears, nor takes anything either unrelated to the business purpose of his visit or not contemplated by the occupant. P. 385 U. S. 211.

352 F.2d 799 affirmed.

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