State v. Canady, ___ N.C. App. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (Jun. 2, 2020)

In this case involving convictions for, among other offenses, sale of cocaine and delivery of cocaine, the trial court did not commit plain error in its application of G.S. 90-95 and in sentencing the defendant.  At sentencing, the trial judge arrested judgment on the conviction of delivering cocaine, a Class H felony, and consolidated other convictions into the single count of selling cocaine, a Class G felony.  On appeal the defendant argued that G.S. 90-95, which generally punishes the sale of cocaine more severely than the delivery of cocaine, is ambiguous as to the appropriate punishment for a judgment based on the “sale or delivery” of cocaine and that the rule of lenity requires that the lesser punishment be imposed.  Taking note of the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Moore, 327 N.C. 378 (1990) establishing that a defendant may not be convicted of both the sale and the delivery of a controlled substance when both offenses arise from a single transfer, the court held that the purpose of Moore was accomplished here by the trial judge arresting judgment on the delivery of cocaine conviction and that the defendant did not show that plain error occurred.