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People v. Otten

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 9, 1980.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

LLOYD OTTEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. LOUIS H. GARIPPO, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE STAMOS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT: Following a bench trial defendant Lloyd Otten was convicted of the delivery of a controlled substance (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1401(d)) and sentenced to serve not less than one nor more than 4 years. On appeal defendant contends that he was not proved guilty of delivering phencyclidine (PCP) and that the court erred in entering a finding of guilty after expressing doubts about the outcome.

The facts adduced at trial indicate that a controlled "buy" was set up by undercover police officers Helen Rusinskas and Linda Nelson. The officers met with their contacts, Wes Riley and Rich Word, in a motel room on December 17, 1976, at about 11 a.m. Riley counted the prearranged funds of $4,500 and then made a phone call. Defendant arrived about 25 minutes later, and, when asked by Word if he had brought the "tick" with him, defendant responded that he had not. Defendant noted the presence of police all over the area and suggested that they take a ride.

Defendant directed Nelson and Word to wait in the motel and he, Rusinskas and Riley left in a police undercover vehicle. At defendant's direction Rusinskas drove in an evasive manner until they parked at 5200 South La Porte. Riley left the car after a conversation with defendant and returned stating that a resident had questioned him about what he was doing as he opened the hood of the car. Defendant then left the vehicle and returned in several minutes.

Defendant directed Rusinskas to drive again and then to park in the 5100 block of South Lavergne across the street from defendant's vehicle. Riley then gave money to the defendant and after counting it, defendant told Riley to get the "tick" as he motioned to his car. Riley reached into the driver's side of the car, picked up a package and returned to the car with it tucked under this jacket. Defendant then walked across the street and Riley reentered the undercover vehicle and drove off with Rusinskas, who, in the meantime, had given the prearranged brake light signal that the sale had been completed. Riley gave the officer a package of 5 plastic bags containing a white powder which she put in her purse and later placed in a narcotics envelope for analysis. This was later admitted into evidence.

Officer Alvisu radioed the police team that he observed the signal indicating that the sale had been completed. He saw defendant walking toward his car and approached him. The defendant then fled on foot, and Officer Carter testified that he followed defendant through several gangways and observed him throw something on a garage roof. A bundle of money was later recovered from the roof where he observed defendant toss the object. After the chase, defendant was apprehended at a shoe store.

No serious question has been raised with regard to defendant's participation in this sequence of events, and the thrust of defendant's argument at trial and on appeal was directed to whether or not the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance was a Schedule III controlled substance. Section 401(d) provides that one who delivers any amount of a controlled substance classified in Schedule III in an amount less than 300 grams is guilty of a Class 3 felony (Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 56 1/2, par. 1401(d)). The Controlled Substances Act states in pertinent part that:

"(a) The controlled substances listed in this section are included in Schedule III.

(c) Unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture or preparation which contains any of the following substances having a potential for abuse associated with a depressant effect on the central nervous system.

(10) Phencyclidine (PCP) * * *." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1208(a)(c)(10).)

Defendant contends that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant delivered (1) a Schedule III controlled substance, (2) a compound containing phencyclidine, or (3) a substance with a depressant effect on the central nervous system.

Testimony regarding the substance was elicited from three chemists. Gerald Pazin, a forensic chemist with the Chicago Police Department, testified that he analyzed the white powder which was delivered by the officers. He conducted two screening tests which produced a result consistent with the preliminary tests for phencyclidine. He then conducted an infrared test, which he described as a specific test, where a sample is purified by an extraction process and placed on an infrared spectrometer. A graph was produced which was compared against the standard in the Chicago Police Department for identification purposes of an unknown substance. The graph produced showed the match to be a positive identification of the white powder as phencyclidine. Mr. Pazin testified that this test is conclusive of the fact that the sample tested was phencyclidine. The powder was then dissolved in methanol and placed in the ultraviolet spectrometer. The graph produced was compared with the standard graphs obtained from published literature and knowledge from prior run standards. Based on these tests he concluded that the white powder was phencyclidine.

Robert Moriarity, a professor of chemistry, testified for the defendant. He stated that phencyclidine is a free base which, if treated with hydrochloric acid, forms a corresponding hydrochloride. This process produces two compounds with different chemical formulae. He also stated that there is a difference between the main compound and the optical isomer and that the four tests performed by the police chemist did not distinguish between the two compounds. He indicated that this could be done by measuring the optical rotation with the polar light. On cross-examination, Moriarity revealed that he had never analyzed phencyclidine. He also stated that the four tests performed were nonspecific tests, but that infrared analysis was more specific than ultraviolet analysis. He further stated that phencyclidine is a free base which will combine with an acid and form a salt. When it is combined with hydrochloric acid it converts to phencyclidine hydrochloride, which makes it water soluble but retains a phencyclidine base. He also stated that the phencyclidine base is not affected by the addition of hydrochloride or hydrobromide but the substance is converted to a totally different compound. In response to a question by the court, Mr. Moriarity stated that an isomer of phencyclidine would produce a reading similar to phencyclidine if subjected to infrared and ultraviolet tests. He stated that the spectrum, which was entered by the prosecution, generates a wave length for phencyclidine hydrochloride, which is a different compound from phencyclidine though both contain phencyclidine as a base.

Mr. Pazin was recalled as a rebuttal witness and testified that he analyzed the white powder with hydrochloric acid which turned the powder into phencyclidine hydrochloride. He described phencyclidine hydrochloride as a compound and a salt of phencyclidine, a material which contains phencyclidine. On cross-examination he stated that if you add hydrochloric acid to phencyclidine hydrochloride you would still have a salt, but if added to an unknown substance you would not know whether you started with the salt or not.

Terry Del Cason, a chemist employed by the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice, testified in rebuttal that when hydrochloric acid is added to phencyclidine it does not change phencyclidine in such manner that it is no longer related to phencyclidine. He stated that phencyclidine is a tranquilizing drug originally intended as an anesthetic or analgesic. He further stated that if equal amounts of phencyclidine or phencyclidine hydrochloride were ...


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