State v. Chen

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 10-29-2014
  • Case #: A150410
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; & Wollheim, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 475.860, a reasonable jury could convict a defendant on a charge of delivery of marijuana when presented with evidence of their frequent presence at a grow operation, transportation of marijuana trimmings, and large amounts of drugs on the property. These factors considered cumulatively create a logical inference that a defendant intends to sell the marijuana, which constitutes delivery.

Defendant appealed of the trial court’s decision to deny his motion for judgment of acquittal on a charge of delivery of marijuana. In 2010, the electric company began to suspect that there was a marijuana grow operation taking place in a home that was using a large amount of electricity. Police, upon observing the property, saw the defendant at the house, though he did not own the property. With a warrant, police searched the suspected grow house and found 1.2 million dollars in marijuana plants. Defendant contended that he lacked an intent to deliver the drugs because there was no evidence of harvesting, packaging, or selling, despite their being a large quantity of the drug which has in prior cases been deemed sufficient to constitute the intent element of the delivery charge. The trial court concluded that the delivery charge was justified because the size of the grow operation showed that there existed a substantial step toward engaging in the offense. The Court agreed with the trial court, adding that a reasonable jury could conclude that Defendant had the intent to sell the marijuana; this established a delivery because he was at the property every day without the presence of others inside the home, he was transporting trimmings, and there was a large amount of marijuana. Affirmed.

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