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North Caroline v. Wilkins

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Defendant was stopped by a police officer when he was driving. Upon a search of Defendant’s identity, the officer found that Defendant contained an arrest warrant. Search incident to arrest, the officer found 1.89 grams of marijuana, packaged into three baggies and $1,264.00 in cash. Subsequently, Defendant was arrested with possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver or sell.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    The quantity of marijuana alone may be sufficient to support a conviction of an intent to sell or deliver, however, it must be a substantial amount.

    Facts.

    Kendrick Wilkins, Defendant, was stopped by Officer Bunt. When Officer Bunt knocked on the driver’s side window, Defendant turned away and refused to open the window. At that point, Officer Bunt opened the driver side door, confirmed Defendant’s identity, and arrested him on his outstanding warrants. Additionally, Officer Bunt, search incident to arrest, found a small plastic bag in Defendants pockets, containing three smaller bags inside, which contained a substance that was later determined to be marijuana, totaling 1.89 grams. Likewise, when searching Defendant’s person, Officer Bunt found $1, 264.00 in cash, which was separated in two 60 $20.00 bills, one $10.00 bill, nine $5.00 bills, and nine $1.00 bills. Defendant contends that his mother gave him $1,000.00 and the additional $264.00 was from a check he just cashed. Subsequently, Defendant was charged and convicted of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver.

    Issue.

    Whether the State presented sufficient evidence in which a reasonable trier of fact could conclude that Defendant intended to sell or deliver marijuana.

    Held.

    No, the State did not present sufficient evidence in which a reasonable trier of fact could conclude that Defendant intended to sell or deliver marijuana.

    Discussion.

    An intent to sell or deliver a controlled substance may be inferred with direct or circumstantial evidence, such as “(1) the packaging, labeling, and storage of the controlled substance, (2) the defendant’s activities, (3) the quantity found, and (4) the presence of cash or drug paraphernalia.” Here, Defendant was found with 1.89 grams of marijuana, which is insufficient to indicate Defendant intended to sell or deliver the marijuana. Also, the State has failed to support their argument with case law that indicates that a packaging of a controlled substances into smaller bags, as Defendant did in this case, are grounds to survive a motion to dismiss. Lastly, the fact that Defendant was carrying $1, 264.00 in cash, when found with just 1.89 grams of marijuana is still insufficient to support a conviction that the defendant intended to sell or deliver the marijuana. Therefore, the State did not meet its burden in proving that Defendant was a drug sell, but rather, simply a drug user.


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