U.S. Supreme Court
Steele v. United States No. 2, 267 U.S. 505 (1925)
Steele v. United States No. 2
Argued March 11, 1925
Decided April 13, 1925
267 U.S. 505
1. A judgment upholding a search warrant on a petition to vacate it is res judicata as to the competency of the person to whom the warrant was directed and as to probable cause for its issuance, so that the petitioner cannot subsequently raise the question in a criminal proceeding against him by objecting to evidence of seizure under the warrant. P. 267 U. S. 507.
2. Section 6 of Title XI of the Espionage Act, adopted in the Prohibition Act (Title II, § 25), authorizes a search warrant to be issued "to a civil officer of the United States duly authorized to enforce or assist in enforcing any law thereof," held, that this is not meant to be confined to officers of the United States in the limited Constitutional sense, but includes a general prohibition agent appointed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. P. 267 U. S. 507.
3. In a prosecution for illegal possession of intoxicating liquor, in which the results of a seizure under a search warrant are offered against the defendant, the court, in deciding upon the competency of the evidence, determines whether under the facts and law there was probable cause for the warrant, and this question is not for the jury. P. 267 U. S. 510.
Error to a sentence under the National Prohibition Act. See also the case preceding, ante, p. 267 U. S. 498.