STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
Nos. 04CRS56466, 56467, 56468
WILLIE ARTHUR HARDY
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General M.
Lynne Weaver, for the State.
Thomas R. Sallenger for Defendant.
Willie Arthur Hardy (Defendant) was convicted of one count of
trafficking in cocaine by delivery, one count of trafficking in
cocaine by sale, and one count of trafficking in cocaine by
possession in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-95(h). The trial
court sentenced Defendant to three consecutive sentences of a
minimum of thirty-five months and a maximum of forty-two months in
prison. Defendant appeals.
Detective Ben Buck (Detective Buck), a narcotics investigator with the Pitt County Sheriff's Department, testified that shortly before 7 February 2002, he was contacted by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Department regarding a confidential informant, Jimmy Mayo (Mayo). Detective Buck stated that because of the close proximityof Pitt County and Beaufort County, law enforcement officers from the two sheriff's departments worked together. Detective Buck met with Mayo on the morning of 7 February 2002 to arrange for Mayo to participate in a drug buy for the Pitt County Sheriff's Department later that day. Detective Buck testified that he searched Mayo to ensure that Mayo was not hiding any drugs which Mayo could later say he purchased at the target house. At the same time, Detective Buck placed on Mayo a wire to record Mayo's conversations, and a transmitter so officers could hear Mayo's conversations. Detective Buck instructed Mayo to purchase an ounce and a half of crack cocaine from Defendant and gave Mayo $1,500.00 to make the purchase. Detective Buck and other officers from the Pitt County Sheriff's Department then returned to their vehicles and set up surveillance.
Carlton Ray Jones (Jones) arrived at Mayo's house in a burgundy Mitsubishi at 12:56 p.m. on 7 February 2002. Jones drove Mayo to Defendant's house while under constant surveillance by numerous officers. After Jones and Mayo arrived at Defendant's house, Detective Buck heard a conversation over the wire between Mayo and Defendant. Although Detective Buck was not familiar with Defendant, Mayo later identified Defendant as the person with whom Mayo was speaking. After an hour passed with no drug transaction occurring, Detective Buck sent a uniformed deputy to Defendant's residence to make sure "everything was okay." After another hour, Jones and Mayo left Defendant's house and returned to Mayo's house. Detective Buck then picked up Mayo and drove to another locationfor a briefing. Mayo reported that Defendant was waiting for the drugs to arrive and that, when the uniformed deputy arrived, Defendant became scared. Mayo said Defendant then instructed him to return on his four-wheeler at 6:00 p.m. to complete the sale. Detective Buck searched Mayo again, and Mayo returned the $1,500.00 he had received to purchase the drugs.
Detective Buck testified that at 5:15 p.m., he and another detective picked Mayo up at his residence, re-wired Mayo, and gave him $1,800.00 to purchase the drugs. Mayo was taken back to his house at 5:45 p.m., and the recording devices were turned on. The officers saw Mayo leave his house on his four-wheeler at 5:53 p.m. Mayo arrived at Defendant's house and had a brief conversation with Defendant. Mayo realized he had left the digital scale that Detective Buck had provided him back at his house. Detective Buck testified that the officers watched Mayo return to his house in the burgundy Mitsubishi, retrieve the scale, and return to Defendant's house. At 6:36 p.m., Detective Buck heard Defendant tell Mayo to "check the dope out" and heard Defendant count out $1,500.00. The officers observed Mayo leave Defendant's home and drive his four- wheeler back to his house. Detective Buck met with Mayo, retrieved the cocaine, removed the recording equipment, and recovered the $300.00 Mayo had not spent. Detective Buck testified that as a result of this transaction, Defendant was arrested approximately two years later. The delay in arresting defendant avoided revealing Mayo as an informant and allowed Mayo to participate in additional drug buys for law enforcement. The portion of the tapecontaining the drug transaction was played for the jury.
Detective Buck admitted on cross-examination that when Defendant was arrested, no drugs, nor any of the money used in the 7 February 2002 transaction, were recovered from Defendant.
Mayo testified for the State about the events of 7 February 2002. Mayo testified that when he and Jones arrived at Defendant's house, Defendant informed Mayo that Defendant did not have an ounce and a half of cocaine as Mayo had requested. Defendant told Mayo that Defendant would call one of his runners to bring more cocaine. Mayo testified that he waited at Defendant's restaurant and bar, located behind Defendant's home, for several hours before leaving without purchasing any cocaine. Mayo said he returned to Defendant's house later that afternoon on his four-wheeler. Mayo testified that he recognized Defendant from living in the same neighborhood. Mayo testified that a runner arrived and handed something to Defendant around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. Mayo followed Defendant into the men's bathroom, where Defendant gave Mayo the cocaine for the money. Defendant counted the money, while Mayo weighed the cocaine. Mayo identified the portion of the tape which was played for the jury as a recording of the conversation that Mayo had with Defendant in the bathroom of Defendant's bar.
Robert Evans (Agent Evans), a special agent with the State Bureau of Investigation, testified as an expert in forensic chemistry. Agent Evans testified that he analyzed the substance recovered from Mayo on 7 February 2002 and identified it as cocaine. He also determined that the weight of the cocaine,without its packaging, was forty grams.
At the close of the State's evidence, Defendant moved to dismiss each of the charges for insufficiency of evidence. Defendant presented no evidence and renewed his motion to dismiss at the close of all evidence. Defendant assigns as error the trial court's denial of his motion to dismiss each of the charges against him. For the reasons stated below, we find no error.
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