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05/30/89 the People of the State of v. Dennis Jose Chanath

May 30, 1989





540 N.E.2d 468, 184 Ill. App. 3d 521, 132 Ill. Dec. 728 1989.IL.815

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Christy S. Berkos, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE SCARIANO delivered the opinion of the court. HARTMAN and EGAN,* JJ., concur.


Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of delivery of a controlled substance and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. He appeals, arguing that the State failed to establish that his involvement in the offense was not the result of entrapment and that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence the opinion testimony of Chicago police officer William Haley.

At trial, Haley testified that he was working as an undercover agent on February 13, 1986, when he first met defendant at the apartment of Denise Murray, defendant's girl friend. Haley had received information from an unidentified informant that defendant was "dealing narcotics" and that defendant's people could supply large quantities of cocaine. Haley, who was using the name Mark, made arrangements for future purchases and, although the record is unclear, it appears that he made a narcotics purchase on that date as well. According to Haley, defendant and he talked about the price of cocaine, the quantity, what defendant could get "fronted," and defendant stated that it was his people who would supply the cocaine. Defendant and Murray argued over whom Haley should contact for purchases, and Haley resolved the dispute by saying that he did not care who supplied him, that he would leave a message with his number on Murray's answering machine and either defendant or Murray could call him.

Haley stated that on February 28, 1986, at approximately 2 p.m., he received a page via his pager service. He called the telephone number which appeared on his pager and spoke with defendant, who asked him if he was still interested in purchasing five ounces of cocaine. Haley responded affirmatively, and defendant replied that he had only four ounces but if Haley waited another hour, defendant would be able to supply him with a total of five ounces at $1,550 per ounce. Haley told defendant that he would not have the money until approximately 3:15 p.m. and to call back then. In response to defendant's page, Haley called him and arranged to meet him at a restaurant. Haley delayed his arrival at the restaurant, in order to give the surveillance team time to position themselves, and while he was driving there, defendant paged him twice, urging Haley to get there as soon as possible.

When Haley finally arrived at the restaurant, he found defendant eating at a table. Haley testified that defendant advised him that the cocaine had come "off a kilo block," which, according to Haley, is a slang term "used normally among high, middle level to upper level narcotics suppliers" to describe a very high grade block of cocaine. After defendant finished eating they went to Haley's car. Defendant gave Haley a large plastic bag containing four ounces of "a white rocky powdery substance," and Haley gave defendant $6,200. As defendant was counting the cash, members of the surveillance team approached the car and arrested defendant.

Defendant testified that following his graduation from high school he joined the Navy, from which he was honorably discharged, and at the time of his arrest and trial he was a student at DeVry Institute of Technology. He first met Haley at Murray's apartment, where he was doing his homework. Murray and Haley left the apartment to engage in a narcotics transaction, and defendant accompanied them. He denied having a drug-related conversation with Haley.

Defendant next had contact with Haley on February 28, 1986, when Haley called him, seeking to purchase cocaine. Defendant was angry that Haley had called him and told him he could not supply him with cocaine. He repeated this when Haley called a second time, but, when Haley called later and begged defendant to sell him cocaine, defendant agreed to meet him at a restaurant. Upon being arrested, defendant told the police that he was not a dealer and that he was making only $300 profit on the sale., Defendant was convicted of delivery of a controlled substance, and he now appeals.


Defendant argues that the State failed to show that he was predisposed to sell or deliver cocaine and that his involvement in the sale was not the result of entrapment. Thus, his argument continues, his conviction must be reversed. Defendant maintains that it is clear from the evidence that Haley induced him to commit the offense, emphasizing his testimony that Haley contacted him ...

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