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Supreme Court Rules Drugs May Be Seized in Weapons Frisk


July 1993

The Supreme Court ruled June 7 that police need no warrant to seize drugs detected by touch while frisking a suspect for concealed weapons. The court held that the seizure was acceptable as long as the officer conducting the search was able to immediately recognize the contraband by touch. The ruling came in Minnesota v. Dickerson No. 91-2019. The case involved seizure of crack cocaine detected during a weapons frisk (Linda Greenhouse, "Court Says Drugs Can Be Seized In Weapons Frisk," New York Times, 6/8/93, A23).