2015 Opinion No. 7
Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Benjamin R. Simpson, District Judge.
Order admitting evidence and denying motion for acquittal, affirmed; judgment of conviction and unified sentence of twelve years, with a minimum period of confinement of three years, for trafficking in methamphetamine, affirmed.
Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Ben P. McGreevy, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.
Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; John C. McKinney, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Chief Judge MELANSON and Judge LANSING, CONCUR.
Dwayne Allan Bradley appeals from his judgment of conviction and sentence for trafficking in methamphetamine, Idaho Code § 37-2732B(a)(4). Bradley argues the district court erred in admitting audio recordings into evidence and by denying his motion for acquittal. He also alleges the district court imposed an excessive sentence. We affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The State charged Bradley with trafficking in methamphetamine based on the allegation that he knowingly possessed more than 28 grams of methamphetamine. The district court subsequently allowed the State to amend the information to allege that Bradley knowingly possessed methamphetamine in an amount represented to be 28 grams or more.
At trial, a sergeant with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department testified that he is the supervisor of the Kootenai County Drug Task Force and he commonly used confidential informants to buy drugs from persons suspected of selling drugs. The sergeant testified that he was familiar with various terms associated with the buying and selling of methamphetamine. The sergeant explained, based on his experience in the local area, instead of speaking plainly in regard to the amount of drugs to be bought or sold, buyers or sellers will use cover words. The sergeant testified that a " full" or a " whole one" were terms used to specify a full ounce. According to the sergeant, an informant was used to set up a drug purchase from Bradley. The sergeant recorded two telephone conversations between Bradley and the informant. The sergeant used a digital recorder at the sheriff's office; the calls were also recorded through the sheriff department's detective system. The sergeant was present during both telephone calls. On cross-examination, the sergeant admitted he could not hear everything that the speaker said on the other end of the conversation. The sergeant testified that he reviewed the audio recordings of the two calls and they accurately represented the audio he recorded. The sergeant indicated he could only recognize the voice of the informant on the recordings.
A deputy also testified that he met the sergeant and informant at the sheriff's office and then subsequently drove to where the drug buy was supposed to take place. The deputy observed two patrol deputies pull over a pickup driven by Bradley. Upon searching the pickup, the deputy located an aerosol can with a fake bottom that contained a clear plastic bag with a white crystal substance inside. The deputy also found four cell phones and $852 in cash. The deputy testified that upon reviewing the audio recordings, he recognized the ...