Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Dennis Dernbach, Judge Presiding.
Released for Publication December 10, 1996.
The Honorable Justice Buckley delivered the opinion of the court. Wolfson and Braden, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Buckley
The Honorable Justice BUCKLEY delivered the opinion of the court:
Following a jury trial, defendants, Marco Salazar and David Corral, were found guilty of the delivery of a controlled substance. Defendant, Marco Salazar, was also found guilty of possession of a controlled substance. The State later nol-prossed Salazar's possession count, and defendants were sentenced to 25 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Defendants raise several issues on appeal. However, because we find the State did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendants were not entrapped, we do not address defendants' remaining arguments.
The following testimony was elicited at trial. Detective Oscar Aguilara testified that in November 1992, he was working in the organized crime intelligence section of the Chicago police department. At that time, he was contacted by Rebecca Hernandez, whom he had been introduced to by a paid informant, Eva Cervantes. Detective Aguilara testified that when he met Hernandez he posed as a drug dealer and was not in uniform. Hernandez told Detective Aguilara that she knew an individual from Durango, Mexico, who could acquire a kilogram of cocaine. Detective Aguilara testified that Durango was a known drug source. Hernandez was not paid for this information, although Detective Aguilara testified that Cervantes was paid for the information in this case.
According to Detective Aguilara, on December 26, 1992, someone beeped him and when he returned the call, Corral answered the phone. During this conversation Corral agreed to sell Aguilara one kilogram of cocaine on December 29. Detective Aguilara testified that Corral set the price at $22,000, and the price of cocaine at that time in Chicago was between $19,000 and $24,000 per kilogram. Corral did not phone Detective Aguilara on December 29. When Detective Aguilara phoned Corral, Corral told him that he was unable to get the cocaine. Detective Aguilara told Corral that he had the money and that Corral should call him when he had the drugs.
Detective Aguilara stated that on January 3, 1993, Corral phoned Detective Aguilara. They agreed to meet on January 6, at 11 a.m. at a motel located at 920 West Foster Avenue for the exchange. Detective Aguilara confirmed the price of $22,000, and they discussed the quality of the cocaine. Detective Aguilara told Corral that he would have another person with him and they would be driving a red Chevrolet Lumina Van. Corral stated that he would be in a blue Pontiac.
Detective Aguilara further testified that they met at the motel as planned. Detective Aguilara and his partner, Detective Colon, parked the van next to defendants' car and they exchanged greetings. Detective Aguilara then asked the defendants if they wanted to get in the van. Upon entering the van, Detective Aguilara introduced Detective Colon as his partner and they exchanged greetings again. Defendants then asked to see the money, and Detective Aguilara reached into a brown paper bag and handed Corral a bundle of bills. Corral started to count the money, and Detective Aguilara handed Corral a second bundle and asked to see the cocaine. Corral instructed Salazar to give Detective Aguilara the cocaine. Salazar pulled a plastic bag out of his jacket and handed it to Detective Aguilara, who then gave it to Detective Colon.
At this point, Detective Aguilara signaled the surveillance officers, who came and arrested both defendants. The officers found additional cocaine folded inside a $5 bill on Salazar. Detective Aguilara explained that drug dealers often carry a sample of cocaine if the buyer needs to confirm the quality. Detective Aguilara also stated that neither defendant ever indicated that he did not want to make the transaction. However, defendants also did not indicate that they would like to engage in further transactions with Detective Aguilara.
The parties stipulated that the package defendant Salazar handed to the detectives was 91.1% pure cocaine, weighing 975.9 grams. The cocaine Salazar had inside the $5 bill was .11 grams of 95% pure cocaine.
Chicago police officer Richard Sanchez was qualified as an expert in the field of cocaine distribution and packaging. He testified that in order to get a kilogram of cocaine, a person had to know somebody in the narcotics business and gain his confidence. Officer Sanchez testified that only a distributor of cocaine, someone with access to multiple kilograms, would be able to sell kilogram quantities of ...