An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA03-967


Filed: 4 May 2004


         v.                             Henderson County
                                     No. 02 CRS 4010

    Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 18 November 2002 by Judge Zoro J. Guice in Henderson County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 19 April 2004.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Graham, for the State.

    Michael E. Casterline for defendant appellant.

    McCULLOUGH, Judge.

    Defendant Robin Dale Stepp was charged with possession of methamphetamine. The State's evidence tends to show that at approximately 1:48 a.m. on 3 March 2002, Officer James Case of the Hendersonville Police Department observed two men and a truck near a dumpster, which was located behind a Bi-Lo grocery store. After calling for back-up, Officer Case approached the men and asked one of the men, defendant, for identification. He then patted defendant down, at which time he discovered a hard, plastic cigarette case. When Officer Case removed the cigarette case from defendant's pocket, defendant began to walk away. Despite the officer's command to stop, defendant continued toward the dumpster and reached inside. At about that time, Officer Bruce Simonds, also ofthe Hendersonville Police Department, arrived to assist Officer Case.
    Officer Case and Officer Simonds subdued defendant, and defendant was placed under arrest. Officer Case then returned to the dumpster and retrieved a syringe from the top of the trash. Methamphetamine is injected into the body with the use of a syringe.
    During the struggle with defendant, the cigarette case dropped. Officer Simonds picked up the cigarette case and found two baggies inside. The baggies contained a granular substance which was later determined to be methamphetamine.
    Defendant presented the testimony of his girlfriend, Catherine Ball, which tended to show that defendant did not know that there was methamphetamine in the cigarette case on 3 March 2002. Ball testified that she had purchased the drugs from a dealer for another friend and placed them in her cigarette case. Ball stated that she intended to remove the drugs from the case, but forgot. Later she rode to Bi-Lo with defendant and another man to look around the dumpsters. When defendant asked her for a cigarette, Ball testified that he gave her cigarette case to him, forgetting that the methamphetamine was in the case. Ball had walked to a nearby store to buy some more cigarettes when Officer Case arrived on the scene. When she saw the officer questioning defendant and his associate, she left the scene.
    After hearing the testimony and arguments of counsel, the jury found defendant guilty as charged. Defendant then pled guilty ofattaining the status of habitual felon. The trial court sentenced defendant to a presumptive term of 90-121 months in prison. Defendant appeals.
    On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss. Specifically, defendant contends that there was insufficient evidence to show that he knowingly possessed methamphetamine. In fact, defendant asserts that he “presented uncontroverted evidence which fully explained how he had unwittingly come to hold the controlled substance.” We disagree.
    A motion to dismiss for insufficiency of the evidence is properly denied if viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State and giving the State every reasonable intendment arising therefrom, there is substantial evidence that the defendant committed the offense charged. State v. Jarrett, 137 N.C. App. 256, 262, 527 S.E.2d 693, 697 (2000). It is well settled that “[i]f there is more than a scintilla of competent evidence to support the allegations in the warrant or indictment, it is the court's duty to submit the case to the jury.” State v. Horner, 248 N.C. 342, 344-45, 103 S.E.2d 694, 696 (1958); see State v. Williams, 136 N.C. App. 218, 220, 523 S.E.2d 428, 430 (1999) (defining substantial evidence as being “more than a scintilla”). “'Contradictions and discrepancies [in the evidence] are for the jury to resolve and do not warrant [dismissal].'” State v. Pallas, 144 N.C. App. 277, 286, 548 S.E.2d 773, 780 (2001) (quoting State v. McKinney, 288 N.C. 113, 117, 215 S.E.2d 578, 581 (1975)).
    In the instant case, defendant was convicted of possession ofmethamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. To obtain a conviction for possession of methamphetamine, the State must show that the defendant knowingly possessed the subject controlled substance. State v. Weldon, 314 N.C. 401, 403, 333 S.E.2d 701, 702 (1985); N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-95(a)(3) (2003). In State v. Bogle, 90 N.C. App. 277, 281, 368 S.E.2d 424, 427 (1988), rev'd on other grounds, 324 N.C. 190, 376 S.E.2d 745 (1989), this Court stated, “Knowledge may be implied when there is no direct evidence that a defendant actually had knowledge of a certain fact but the circumstances are such as would lead the defendant to believe that the fact existed.” The Court further explained, “Our Supreme Court has recognized that knowledge often must be inferred from circumstantial evidence and has held that juries are free to make such inferences.” Id. at 282, 368 S.E.2d at 428.
    The evidence in the light most favorable to the State tends to show that defendant was rummaging through a dumpster behind a grocery store during the predawn hours on 3 March 2002, when he was observed by Officer Case. Officer Case approached defendant, asked him for identification, and patted down his outer clothing. During the pat-down, the officer noted a hard object in defendant's pocket. The officer removed the object, which was determined to be a plastic cigarette case. Defendant then walked away from the officer to a nearby dumpster in an attempt to evade Officer Case and had to be subdued. The cigarette case dropped from Officer Case's grasp during the scuffle with defendant. The cigarette case was discovered to contain methamphetamine. Officer Case also founda needle in the dumpster into which defendant had reached. Significantly, methamphetamine is injected into the body with a syringe.
    Although defendant presented evidence that tended to show that he did not know about the methamphetamine, that evidence was not uncontroverted. The State's evidence was sufficient to allow the jury to infer that defendant had knowledge of the drugs. Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to dismiss.
    In light of the foregoing, we hold that defendant received a fair trial, free from prejudicial error.
    No error.
    Judges WYNN and HUNTER concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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