STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v. Mecklenburg County
Nos. 03 CRS 216887-88
Roy A. Cooper, III, Attorney General, by Philip A. Lehman,
Assistant Attorney General, for the State.
D. Tucker Charns for defendant-appellant.
MARTIN, Chief Judge.
Defendant appeals his conviction for trafficking in ecstasy and carrying a concealed gun. At trial, the State presented evidence tending to show the following: On 9 April 2003, Steven Lamont, a confidential informant, called Detective Chris Long of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. Lamont told Detective Long that he had an individual, Justin Roser, who wanted to purchase 500 ecstasy pills. Detective Long arranged to meet Lamont and Roser at the Aquatic Center in Charlotte to consummate the transaction. Roser testified that he did not have sufficient funds to buy the minimum amount of ecstasy pills that Lamont would sell, so he asked defendant and another man, Tavarus, if they would loan him the money for the pills and they agreed. Roser testified that on 9 April 2003, he met Lamont and informed him that he had to pick up the rest of the money from defendant and Tavarus. They traveled together in Lamont's car and drove to defendant's apartment complex. Defendant and Tavarus were outside in their car, and Lamont pulled up beside them. Roser then received approximately $500 from them, as well as five pills of ecstasy to make up for a shortfall in cash. Defendant and Tavarus told Roser they were going to follow them to make sure everything was all right. Lamont noticed that they were being followed and pulled over because he was afraid defendant and Tavarus were going to rob him. Lamont asked Roser to tell defendant and Tavarus they could not follow, which Roser did. Defendant and Tavarus refused, informed Roser that someone had to watch their money, and that defendant had a gun and would go with Lamont and Roser. Defendant got into Lamont's car, introduced himself, and told him he was trying to protect my investment.
Lamont allowed defendant to ride with them, afraid that otherwise he would be robbed or the deal wouldn't have gone down. While riding with Lamont and Roser, defendant expressed concerns about the quality of the pills they would be receiving. Lamont was concerned about defendant's presence, so he called Detective Long and told him someone else was in the car. Detective Long informed Lamont that defendant could not come to the meeting and instructed him to drop defendant off at the bus station, which Lamont did. Detective Long explained at trial that defendant could not come to the meeting because they were prepared to arrest only oneindividual, and he would have a hard time relaying to his arrest team that there would be another party.
Lamont, Roser and Detective Long met at the Aquatic Center. Roser handed Detective Long money and five ecstasy pills and was arrested. Since defendant had put in part of the money, officers went to the bus station and arrested him as well; Lamont accompanied the officers to the bus station to identify defendant. Defendant was detained and frisked, and a gun was seized from his waistband.
The trial court instructed the jury that it could find defendant guilty of trafficking in ecstasy under the theory of constructive possession or the theory of accessory before the fact. Defendant was convicted of trafficking in ecstasy under the theory of accessory before the fact and carrying a concealed gun. He was sentenced to a term of seventy to eighty-four months imprisonment. Defendant appeals.
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