Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium


This compendium includes significant criminal cases by the U.S. Supreme Court & N.C. appellate courts, Nov. 2008 – Present. Selected 4th Circuit cases also are included.

Jessica Smith prepared case summaries Nov. 2008-June 4, 2019; later summaries are prepared by other School staff.


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E.g., 07/21/2024
E.g., 07/21/2024

(1) The evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for attempted sale or delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance. The charges arose out of a drug transaction that was prearranged by an undercover officer. The officer arranged the transaction with a target, but the defendant and other individuals showed up to execute it. The defendant and the others were arrested when they produced what appeared to be cocaine during the drug transaction. The State proceeded on the acting in concert theory. The officer had twice purchased cocaine from the target at a Bojangles restaurant in Warsaw, North Carolina. He contacted the target again for a third purchase and the target agreed to sell him one ounce of cocaine for $1200 at the same location. When the officer arrived, the defendant and the other men appeared in a vehicle and waved the officer over to their car. The target told the officer by phone “them are my boys, deal with them” and hung up. One of the men in the car displayed a bag of white powder, which was weighed and determined by the men to be one ounce. The men then were arrested, before an actual delivery of the substance or exchange of money occurred. The white powder was later determined to be counterfeit cocaine. This was sufficient evidence of transferring a counterfeit controlled substance under both the attempted sale and delivery theories of transfer.

(2) When a defendant both sells and delivers a counterfeit controlled substance as part of the same transaction, only one conviction may obtain. The focus of the offense is a transfer, committed either by sale or delivery. Here, the defendant was improperly convicted of two offenses—attempted sale and attempted delivery—arising from a single transfer. However because the defendant did not raise the issue on appeal, it was not before the court. The court however noted that the defendant could raise the issue in a Motion for Appropriate Relief.

(1) The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of possession with the intent to sell or deliver a counterfeit controlled substance. The court rejected the argument that to be considered a counterfeit controlled substance, the State must prove all three factors listed in G.S. 90-87(6)(b); the statute simply sets out factors that can constitute evidence that the controlled substance was intentionally misrepresented as a controlled substance. (2) The court found sufficient evidence of intent to sell or deliver the counterfeit controlled substance given the substance’s packaging and weight and the presence of other materials used for drug packaging. 

There was sufficient evidence to support the defendant’s conviction of conspiracy to sell a counterfeit controlled substance. The court concluded that G.S. 90-87(6) (definition of counterfeit controlled substance) requires only that the substance be intentionally represented as a controlled substance, not that a defendant have specific knowledge that it is counterfeit. There was sufficient evidence that the defendant intentionally represented the substance as a controlled substance in this case: when an undercover officer asked for a “40” ($40 worth of crack cocaine), an accomplice produced a hard, white substance packaged in two small corner baggies, which the officers believed to be crack cocaine. There also was substantial evidence that the defendant conspired with the accomplice: the defendant initiated contact with the officers, directed them where to park, spoke briefly with the accomplice who emerged from a building with the substance, and the defendant brokered the deal.

For purposes of the counterfeit controlled substance offenses, a counterfeit controlled substance is defined, in part, by G.S. 90-87(6) to include any substance intentionally represented as a controlled substance. The statute further provides that “[i]t is evidence that the substance has been intentionally misrepresented as a controlled substance” if certain factors are established. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that for a controlled substance to be considered intentionally misrepresented, all of the factors listed in the statute must be proved, concluding that the factors are evidence that the substance has been intentionally misrepresented as a controlled substance, not elements of the crime. The court also concluded that the evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant misrepresented the substance at issue—calcium carbonate—as crack cocaine where the defendant approached a vehicle, asked its occupants what they were looking for, departed to fill their request for “a twenty,” and handed the occupants a little baggie containing a white rock-like substance. Finally, the court held that the statute does not require the State to prove that the defendant had specific knowledge that the substance was counterfeit.

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