Crime was afoot on Cherry Tree Lane. Ok, ok, ok, it wasn’t Cherry TREE Lane, but crime was definitely afoot. #16 involved a surveillance operation by our Interagency Narcotic’s Task Force. A search warrant was executed and the defendant, aka girlfriend, was home. Boyfriend had been locked up in jail for drug sales days before, which was additional support for the search warrant that was being executed.
A safe in the house had approximately 300 grams of methamphetamine and $7,500 in cash in a safe. The safe also had oxycodone additional methamphetamine and a receipt for payment of $3,500 to a local defense attorney. Girlfriend’s purse was on top of the safe. The purse held the key to the safe and an additional $300.
Next to the bed was a fake can of DelMonte Corn that actually contained a scale and unused empty plastic baggies.
This was a lot of drugs, a lot of money, and a lot of indicia of drug sales.
In the two days prior to the search warrant boyfriend and girlfriend had a series of phone calls from the jail where they discussed their drug sales operation-specifically what girlfriend needed to do to continue the business while he was in jail.
Defendant took the stand in this case and blamed the drugs on her boyfriend. It was all him. He was the drug dealer, not me. I was just an innocent bystander. These were the words that came out of her mouth.
Boyfriend was nowhere to be found when it came to trial…not that I could have called him as a witness. He was implicated in the drug sale business as well and likely would have just claimed his 5th Amendment Right to refrain from self-incrimination. Invocation of that right in front of a jury would have only added fuel to the flames.
In the end, girlfriend didn’t take the fall for the sales. A jury found her guilty of possession but did not believe I had proved the possession of drugs for the purpose of sales portion of the trial. They believed boyfriend was the heavy and she was left holding the bag.
Before this trial I usually relied heavily on the amount of drugs possessed as an indication as to whether or not a particular drug was held for sale. A common dose of methamphetamine is .01 grams, maybe a little more. To put it in reference a sweet and low packet contains the equivalent of 10 doses of methamphetamine. Girlfriend was caught with over 30,000 doses in her possession.
However, more that a huge amount of product on the shelf in needed. For sales possession isn’t enough. We have to prove possession with the intent to sell. Here, we could not make that burden given the drug-dealing boyfriend who was in jail barking orders around the time of the search warrant. Even though the girlfriend was left holding the bag, she did not take the fall.