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COA: Evidence supports dealing conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant’s conviction of dealing in methamphetamine, finding that pill dough created while making the drug could be used to count toward the three grams needed to charge someone with Class A felony dealing.

In James R. Hundley v. State of Indiana, No. 24A01-1010-CR-550, James Hundley challenged his conviction of and sentence for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine. Police went to Hundley’s grandparents’ property on a tip that methamphetamine was being made there. The grandparents took police to a secluded, wooded area behind their home where their grandson, James, hung out. Police saw evidence of methamphetamine and obtained a search warrant for Hundley’s truck. Inside they found more evidence of manufacturing of methamphetamine, including pill dough, which is produced during an intermediate step in making the drug, but contains methamphetamine. Hundley wasn’t there while police were on the property.
 
Hundley claimed that the state didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the one who made the meth at the campsite. But the evidence ties Hundley to the drug and shows he had the intent and capability to maintain control over the meth lab. The meth lab was found in his truck, which was locked and no one else had access to it. A pill bottle was found with his name on it, and after he was arrested, Hundley admitted to his involvement with the meth lab.

Hundley also challenged his conviction on the grounds that the state didn’t prove he was dealing meth because it didn’t show that the weight of the drug found was in excess of three grams. The conviction was based on the weight of the pill dough sample, and that contained other material in addition to methamphetamine.

“We hold that where, as here, the intermediate step is so near the end of the manufacturing process that the final product is present in the chemical compound, that substance qualifies as an ‘adulterated drug’ for purposes of our manufacturing statutes,” wrote Judge Edward Najam.

The COA has previously held that the additional weight of water added to pure cocaine may be considered when determining the weight of the cocaine. In addition, the statute prohibits the manufacture of methamphetamine “pure or adulterated,” so the production of the drug is prohibited, even if the meth produced is impure, the judge added.

The appellate judges also upheld Hundley’s 40-year sentence, with 10 years suspended to probation.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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