Then, the officer twice asked the the defendant if he was the owner of $60 found in the kitchen of the residence that was the subject of the search warrant. Both times the defendant denied ownership of the $60. According to the testimony of the narcotics officer at the suppression hearing, however, defendant also stated that "the only thing that was his was that weed" and that he "just sold weed." At the time of those statements, defendant was handcuffed and had not been advised of his Miranda rights.
The Fourth Department rejected the government's argument that the officer made the inquiry for "routine processing purposes."
we note that "the People may not rely on the pedigree exception if the question, though facially appropriate, [is] likely to elicit incriminating admissions because of the circumstances of the particular case" (citations omitted). Here, the narcotics officer testified at the suppression hearing that he questioned defendant for the purpose of completing a form that was required in the event of "an arrest for narcotics" (emphasis added). Cash indisputably plays a significant role as circumstantial evidence in narcotics cases (citations omitted), however, and we conclude that 'an objective observer with the same knowledge concerning the suspect as the police had would conclude that the [question of the narcotics officer concerning the ownership of cash found in the kitchen during the execution of the search warrant] was reasonably likely to elicit [an incriminating] response' (People v Ferro, 63 NY2d 316, 319, cert denied 472 US 1007; see People v Marrow, 301 AD2d 673, 675-676).