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People v. Blake

Court of Appeal of California, Third District
Nov 18, 1998
68 Cal.App.4th 509 (Cal. Ct. App. 1998)

Summary

In Blake, the defendant was convicted of multiple offenses, including transportation of methamphetamine and transportation of marijuana.

Summary of this case from People v. Henslee

Opinion

C027049 (Siskiyou) (Super.Ct.Nos. 55492 55983)

Filed November 18, 1998

Appeal from the Superior Court of Siskiyou County, Nos. 55492 and 55983, Robert F. Kaster, Judge.

Sharon V. Cooper, under appointment of the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General, George Williamson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Robert R. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, Shirley A. Nelson and Rachelle A. Newcomb, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.


In case no. 55492, defendant Gregory Alan Blake was convicted of possessing methamphetamine for sale (Health Saf. Code, § 11378), transporting methamphetamine (Health Saf. Code, § 11379, subd. (a)), possessing marijuana for sale (Health Saf. Code, § 11359), transporting marijuana (Health Saf. Code, § 11360, subd. (a)) and possessing a deadly weapon (Pen. Code, § 12020, subd. (a)). In case no. 55983, defendant was convicted of failing to appear while released on bail (Pen. Code, § 1320.5). He was sentenced defendant to an aggregate prison term of six years and four months.

On appeal, defendant contends the trial court violated Penal Code section 654 (hereafter section 654) by imposing sentences for both the transportation of methamphetamine conviction and the transportation of marijuana conviction. We disagree and shall affirm the judgment.

As we shall explain, the evidence supports a reasonable inference that his car at the same time, the trial court violated Penal Code section 654 (hereafter section 654) when it imposed sentences for both transportation convictions. We disagree.

DISCUSSION

During a search of defendant's car, an officer found numerous items of contraband and evidence indicating defendant was involved in the sale of illicit drugs. Among the things seized were a jar containing gethamphetamine, which was found in the left fender well of the car, and a PVC pipe containing marijuana, which was in a separate hidden compartment in the vehicle.

At the time of sentencing in this case, section 654 provided in pertinent part: "An act or omission which is made punishable in different ways by different provisions of this code may be punished under either of such provisions, but in no case can it be punished under more than one[.]"

Citing In re Adams (1975) 14 Cal.3d 629, defendant claims section 654 precluded "active sentences on both transportation charges[.]"

Adams was observed to drive into a parking lot and transfer an attaché case and numerous plastic bags (later determined to contain benzedrine, seconal, marijuana, heroin and pantopon) into a codefendant's car. The drugs were seized soon thereafter when the codefendant completed a prearranged sale of benzedrine to an undercover officer. ( In re Adams, supra, 14 Cal.3d at p. 632.) Adams was convicted of selling benzedrine and five counts of transporting controlled substances (one count for each of the five different drugs he transferred to the codefendant's car), and sentence was imposed for each count. ( Ibid.) In a habeas corpus proceeding, he argued that "section 654 invalidates his conviction for five separate counts of transporting drugs, since the act of transportation constituted a single course of conduct accompanied by a single intent and objective." ( Id., at p. 633.) The Supreme Court agreed. Noting Adams transported all the drugs to one person, his codefendant, the court held that, where "different kinds of drugs are simultaneously transported in one, indivisible transaction, with the single intent and objective of delivering them to another person, only one act of illegal transportation occurs." ( Id., at p. 632.)

In contrast, nothing in this case indicates defendant transported the methamphetamine and marijuana with the intent to deliver them to one person. To the contrary, the record supports an inference that defendant intended multiple sales to different customers: (1) the marijuana and methamphetamine were stored in separate containers in different concealed compartments of the car; (2) the marijuana was packaged in a manner consistent with multiple, individual sales; (3) the amounts of marijuana and methamphetamine were consistent with delivery to more than one individual; (4) the difference between the drugs suggests they were "directed at different buyers" ( People v. Menius (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 1290, 1297); and (4) the presence of a "pay-owe" sheet with multiple entries, a police scanner, baby wipes, and a scale indicates defendant was engaged in an elaborate drug trafficking operation involving multiple sales to different individuals, rather than one single delivery.

An expert testified that the strong odor of baby wipes disguises the odor of controlled substances and prevents detection by agents or inspection canines.

Where a defendant entertains multiple criminal objectives independent of and not merely incidental to each other, he may be punished for more than one crime even though the violations share common acts or are parts of an otherwise indivisible course of conduct. ( People v. Beamon (1973) 8 Cal.3d 625, 639.) A trial court's implied finding that a defendant harbored a separate intent and objective for each offense will be upheld on appeal if it is supported by substantial evidence. ( People v. Green (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 538, 543-544.)

Because the evidence highlighted above supports the trial court's implied finding that defendant had separate objectives in transporting the methamphetamine and marijuana, the court properly imposed separate sentences for the two transportation convictions.

DISPOSITION

The judgment is affirmed.

Nicholson, J., and Hull, J., concurred.


Summaries of

People v. Blake

Court of Appeal of California, Third District
Nov 18, 1998
68 Cal.App.4th 509 (Cal. Ct. App. 1998)

In Blake, the defendant was convicted of multiple offenses, including transportation of methamphetamine and transportation of marijuana.

Summary of this case from People v. Henslee

In Blake, the Court of Appeal affirmed the imposition of separate punishments for the simultaneous transportation of methamphetamine and transportation of marijuana in the same car.

Summary of this case from People v. Vasser
Case details for

People v. Blake

Case Details

Full title:THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. GREGORY ALAN BLAKE, Defendant and…

Court:Court of Appeal of California, Third District

Date published: Nov 18, 1998

Citations

68 Cal.App.4th 509 (Cal. Ct. App. 1998)
80 Cal. Rptr. 2d 308

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