HOLLIDAYSBURG - For the third time during the past month, a Blair County judge has ruled the police search of a suspected drug dealer illegal.
Blair County Judge Elizabeth Doyle issued her ruling Friday in the case of Faraaj Houston, 27, of Willow Grove.
Houston was arrested by city police on Feb. 27, 2009, after a confidential informant told officers he had purchased drugs from a black man and a white woman staying in a specific room at a local motel.
The informant said he had rented a white Nissan for the man, known as "Foo" or "Ref."
Police went to the the motel, staked out a white Nissan and soon a couple got into the vehicle and drove away. Officers of the Blair County Drug Task Force immediately followed the couple and took the pair into custody when they stopped at a convenience store to purchase gasoline.
They searched the man, identified as Houston, and charged him with eight offenses including drug violations and resisting arrest.
Houston was found guilty May 5 after a non-jury trial before Doyle of conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from a lawful searches of the motel room and the white Nissan.
Houston was found not guilty of resisting arrest and possession with intent to deliver cocaine and heroin and other offenses stemming from what police found after they searched him outside convenience store - prior to obtaining a search warrant.
June 6, 2010