United States Vrs Gambino Essay Research Paper

United States Vrs Gambino Essay, Research Paper

Gambino v. United States

Argued Oct 12 and 13th 1927

Decided Dec. 12 1927


On August 1, 1924 Gambino and Lima were both arrested by two New York state

troopers . They were driving near the Canadian border when their car was searched with

out a warrant and intoxicating liquor was found and was taken. The liquor and other

property taken was immediately turned over to a Federal deputy collector of customs for

prosecution in the Federal court for Northern New York. Both Gambino and Lima were

charged with conspiracy to transport the liquor in violation with the national prohibition

act. The defense argued that the search without a warrant and no probable cause was in

conflict with the Constitution Amendments four,five, and six. The motion was denied

which meant that was no excuse and the liquor was then brought into the trial as evidence.

Both Lima and Gambino were found guilty and were sentenced to fine and imprisonment.

The case was taken to appeals court where they affirmed the verdict and neither court

delivered an opinion. This court was granted a writ of certiorari. The government

contended that the New York state troopers at the time were agents of the United States.

The defendants contend that their was no probable cause and that the state troopers are to

be deemed agents of the United States because section 26 of the prohibition act imposes

the duty of arrest and seizure where liquor is being illegally transported. They also argued

that state and federal agents were working together which in that case evidence obtained

through wrongful search and seizure by state officials CO-operating with federal agents

must be excluded. But it was held admissible and the idea was excluded from the case

because their wasn’t a federal agent present at the search and seizure. Therefor the only

way the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments could be applied to the case was if a federal

office had aided the arrest. The only evidence against Gambino and Lima was the liquor

which if thrown out they would have been found innocent that being the only evidence

that could have prosecuted them for any crime. Gambino didn’t have much of a chance

even though many unreasonable search and seizure are admitted to lower federal courts

but only 3 cases had been found where it had been seriously contended. The verdict was

made mostly on the fact that federal officers did not have relation to the state officers who

made the search and seizure the only way the liquor would have been thrown out is if

federal officers aided the state officers. One of the officers had been stationed on the

Canadian border for 18 months previous to the arrest.


The affect on society delt allot with freedom from the government which the

constitution is supposed to protect you from unreasonable government acts. I didn’t quite

understand what their probable cause was but it didn’t seem to me unless Gambino or

Lima had been intoxicated that they would have had probable cause . It made people more

especially crime families that thrived in that time that police could have their was with the

fourth amendment as well as the fifth. I didn’t see what the sixth played because they were

given a fair trial excluding the fact that the alcohol was brought in as evidence but that

was the whole case without that their was no crime. Society probable was all for it

because it hurt organized crime which ran parts of society in the twenties.


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