Defendant Mayo, who is charged with possessing a plastic bag of marijuana, and defendant Tidwell, who is charged with possessing marijuana cigarettes, appeal with certificates of immediate review from the pretrial overruling of their motions to suppress evidence which, by stipulation, were heard and ruled upon jointly. In view of the evidence adduced at the hearing, summarized below, we find no error in overruling the motions even though the police officers had no search or arrest warrant. See, e.g., Brooks v. State, 129 Ga. App. 393
, 394 (3) (199 SE2d 578
); Williams v. State, 129 Ga. App. 103
, 105 (1) (198 SE2d 683
); Craft v. State, 124 Ga. App. 57
, 58 (3) (183 SE2d 37
); Green v. State, 127 Ga. App. 713 (194 SE2d 678)
Officers McKinney and Shepherd of the Bibb County sheriffs office, at approximately 10:30 at night, were attempting to "clock" a speeding automobile not involved here. They reached a sharp curve in the road, and as they rounded it their headlights revealed three or four cars parked on the right side of the road and a group of seven or eight white males gathered along the side of defendant Tidwell's automobile next to the road. Officer McKinney, who was driving, thought that a wreck might have occurred and slowed to "just about crawling." As they approached the group they illuminated the scene with an aircraft landing light, and Officer McKinney saw defendant Mayo, who was standing by the left front fender, turn and throw a small plastic bag containing a dark substance onto the ground in front of the parked automobile. At this time the group had been under observation for four or five seconds, and the officers were approximately ten to twelve feet from Mayo when he threw the bag down. From prior experience with the manner in which marijuana is wrapped, Officer McKinney suspected that the plastic bag contained marijuana, and his suspicion was reinforced by the manner and quickness with which Mayo turned and threw it down when the spotlight was shone upon him.
During this period of time defendant Tidwell had been standing next to the rear door of the parked automobile, and while Officer McKinney was observing the plastic bag episode, Officer Shepherd saw Tidwell jerk his hands behind his back "real quick." It went through Officer Shepherd's mind that there was going to be a fight and that Tidwell had hidden something behind his back.
With this setting the officers stopped their automobile next to the group and got out. Officer Shepherd remained away from the group watching Tidwell, while Officer McKinney picked up the plastic bag which was in plain view on the ground. He opened the bag and examined its contents, and discovered two pills mixed in with what appeared to him to be marijuana. Up to this point the officers had not spoken to anyone, but upon opening and inspecting the bag and its contents, Officer McKinney arrested defendants and ordered them to place their hands upon the automobile. Upon searching Tidwell, Officer McKinney found in his pocket seven rolled cigarettes.
The plastic bag and its contents, as well as the cigarettes, were seized, and defendants sought to have this evidence suppressed.