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UNITED STATES V. VAN LEEUWEN, 397 U. S. 249 (1970)

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Van Leeuwen, 397 U.S. 249 (1970)

United States v. Van Leeuwen

No. 403

Argued February 25, 1970

Decided March 23, 1970

397 U.S. 249


Respondent mailed two 12-pound packages of coins at Mt. Vernon, Washington, near the Canadian border, to addresses in California and Tennessee, under circumstances arousing suspicion. The type of mailing was first class, and thus the packages were not subject to discretionary inspection. A 29-hour detention of the package, occasioned mainly by the time differential in obtaining information about the Tennessee addressee before a search warrant was obtained, caused the Court of Appeals to hold that the coins were improperly admitted in evidence against respondent, who had been fund guilty of illegally importing gold coins from Canada.

Held: Under the facts of this case, the 29-hour delay is not "unreasonable" under the Fourth Amendment. Pp. 397 U. S. 251-253.

414 F.2d 758, reversed.

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