APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT
528 N.E.2d 26, 174 Ill. App. 3d 444, 123 Ill. Dec. 642 1988.IL.1331
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County; the Hon. James Bumgarner, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE HEIPLE delivered the opinion of the court. SCOTT and WOMBACHER, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HEIPLE
The defendants, James and Linda Wiley, were convicted in a joint trial of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 56 1/2, pars. 1401, 1402.) Each defendant was sentenced to a nine-year term of imprisonment and a $100,000 fine. They appeal.
The evidence presented by the State tended to show that in August of 1986 Officer Michael Button of the Peoria police department received a phone call from an anonymous person requesting the police to investigate 932 South Sumner in Peoria. The caller suspected drug trafficking because of the large number of people coming to and going from the residence. Following the call, Officer Button and others made periodic checks of the residence and observed cars belonging to suspected drug traffickers.
On September 4, 1986, Officer Button received a call from a confidential source regarding a cocaine delivery to be made at 932 South Sumner. The confidential source reported that the delivery would be made at 1 p.m. by a white couple named Jim and Linda. The couple was from Cicero, and they would be driving a newer model, light-blue Oldsmobile. In response to this information, Officer Button conducted a surveillance of the residence. At 12:58 p.m., a newer model, light-blue Oldsmobile occupied by a white couple pulled into the driveway of 932 South Sumner. As the couple approached the residence, Officer Button drove around the block to get a better view of the license plate, a check of which showed the car to be registered to Linda Wiley of Cicero, Illinois. Nothing further was done at that time.
On September 16, 1986, the confidential source told Officer Button that the Cicero woman would be making another cocaine delivery to the residence that day in the late morning. The source further reported that the woman would be traveling alone and that she would be driving the same car previously described. A surveillance was established on westbound Interstate 74, the road that would typically be taken by a person traveling from Cicero to Peoria. The car was spotted, followed a short distance and stopped. Officer Button asked the white, female driver to produce her license, which bore the name Linda Wiley. Mrs. Wiley was placed under arrest for possession of narcotics. The car was searched, and a locked briefcase was found behind the driver's seat on the floorboard. When asked to open the lock, Mrs. Wiley claimed that the briefcase belonged to a friend and that she did not know the combination. The police seized the briefcase and a yellow slip of paper providing directions to a phone booth in Peoria. The police also noticed several paintings in the trunk of the car, but did not retrieve them.
Upon obtaining a search warrant for the briefcase, Officer Burke took it to Officer Jatkowski to be opened. Officer Jatkowski testified that there was a shaving kit inside the briefcase and business papers with Mrs. Wiley's maiden name on them. Inside the shaving kit was a zip-lock-type plastic bag containing a second zip-lock-type plastic bag. The second bag held what was described as chunks of white powder. Officer Jatkowski poured the substance into a plastic evidence bag and kept the remaining materials for fingerprint processing. Officer Burke placed the plastic evidence bag into a manila envelope and stored it in the police department's evidence locker.
On September 19, 1986, Officer Burke took the envelope to Jean Stover in the crime lab. Ms. Stover tested the substance, which she described in her notes as a white powder, and determined that it weighed 224.3 grams and that it contained cocaine. The evidence was then placed in the crime lab's vault, where it remained until November 18, 1986, when it was returned to Officer Burke. Officer Burke placed it in the police department's evidence locker.
On May 4, 1987, Officer Burke took the evidence to Ms. Stover for further testing to determine what percentage of the substance contained cocaine. In her notes regarding these tests, Ms. Stover described the substance as white powder and chunks. She determined that the substance contained 73% cocaine. She returned the evidence to Officer Burke, who again placed it in the evidence locker, where it remained until certain pretrial proceedings.
Officer Jatkowski's fingerprint processing of the briefcase and its contents revealed seven identifiable fingerprints. Three of the identifiable fingerprints were found on the papers inside the briefcase and were determined to be Mrs. Wiley's. The remaining four identifiable fingerprints were found on the outer zip-lock-type baggie and were determined to be James Wiley's. Significantly, the print of Mr. Wiley's left index finger and the print of his left thumb were found on opposite sides of the seal, tending to show that he had sealed the baggie at some point in time. It was Officer Jatkowski's expert opinion that ...