A Suffolk Criminal Lawyer said that, appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Suffolk County, rendered October 21, 1987, convicting him of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree (two counts) and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree (two counts), upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence of an indeterminate term of 15 years to life imprisonment on the conviction of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree under counts one and three, 8 1/3 years to life imprisonment on the conviction of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree under count two, and 5 years to life imprisonment on the conviction of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree under count four, the sentences under counts one and two to run concurrently to each other and the sentences under counts three and four to run concurrently to each other but consecutively to the sentences imposed under counts one and two.
A Suffolk Cocaine Possession Lawyer said that, in another case, defendant appealed from a judgment of the County Court, Suffolk County, rendered December 12, 1995, convicting him of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, and resisting arrest, upon a jury verdict, and sentencing him to concurrent indeterminate terms of 12 1/2 to 25 years imprisonment on the convictions of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, and a concurrent term of one year imprisonment on the conviction of resisting arrest.
The issue in this case is whether the sentence imposed by the court in this criminal case is excessive.
The defendant asserts that the trial court’s admission of evidence, including a tape recording, of a telephone conversation that he had with an undercover police officer after the first but prior to the second sale of cocaine to the officer was reversible error. However, it is apparent from the record that the second sale was the product of ongoing bargaining between the defendant and the undercover officer, and thus, evidence with respect to the conversation was inextricably interwoven with the entire transaction and served to complete the narrative of the episode. Indeed, the evidence not only was necessary to understand the officer’s subsequent testimony with respect to the second sale, but was also probative of the defendant’s intent in view of his defense that he was hired by the officer and a confidential informant to act out the part of a big-time drug seller. Moreover, any prejudicial effect of such evidence was carefully circumscribed by the court in its instructions to the jury. Thus, under these circumstances, the probative value of that evidence outweighed any potential prejudice that might have resulted from its admission. Accordingly, the tape of the conversation in question, and testimony with respect thereto, was properly admitted into evidence by the trial court.
The defendant’s contention that the evidence was legally insufficient to prove his identify as the seller is unpreserved for appellate review. In any event, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, the court finds it was legally sufficient to establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, upon the exercise of our factual review power, we are satisfied that the verdict was not against the weight of the evidence (see, CPL 470.15 ). The evidence adduced at trial clearly established that the defendant sold cocaine to the Detective on October 15, 1994.
We find the sentence was excessive to the extent indicated. We have reviewed the defendant’s remaining contentions and find them to be without merit.
Accordingly, the court held that the judgment is modified, as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice, by deleting the provision that certain of the sentences shall run consecutively and substituting therefor a provision that all of the sentences shall run concurrently to one another; as so modified, the judgment is affirmed.
If you are convicted of a drug possession case, and the sentence imposed by the court is excessive, ask for the help of a Suffolk Cocaine Possession Attorney and Suffolk Criminal Possession Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates in order to know what legal options available to your case.