State v. Lewis, 243 N.C. App. 757 (Nov. 3, 2015)

In this conspiracy to traffic in opiates case, the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction where the State’s expert analyzed only one of the pills in question and then confirmed that the remainder were visually consistent with the one that was tested. The police seized 20 pills weighing 17.63 grams. The State’s expert analyzed one of the pills and determined that it contained oxycodone, an opium derivative with a net weight of 0.88 grams. The expert visually examined the remaining 19 pills and found them to have “the same similar size, shape and form as well as the same imprint on each of them.” The defendant argued that the visual examination was insufficient to precisely establish how much opium derivative was present in the seized pills. The court rejected this argument, citing prior precedent establishing that a chemical analysis of each individual pill is not necessary; the scope of the analysis may be dictated by whatever sample is sufficient to make a reliable determination of the chemical composition of the entire quantity of pills under consideration.