State v. Velazquez-Perez, 233 N.C. App. 585 (Apr. 15, 2014)

In a case involving trafficking and possession with intent charges, the evidence was insufficient to establish that the defendant Villalvavo knowingly possessed the controlled substance. The drugs were found in secret compartments of a truck. The defendant was driving the vehicle, which was owned by a passenger, Velazquez-Perez, who hired Villalvavo to drive the truck. The court found insufficient incriminating circumstances to support a conclusion that Villalvavo acted knowingly with respect to the drugs; while evidence regarding the truck’s log books may have been incriminating as to Velazquez-Perez, it did not apply to Villalvavo, who had not been working for Velazquez-Perez long and had no stake in the company or control over Velazquez-Perez. The court was unconvinced that Villalvavo’s nervousness during the stop constituted adequate incriminating circumstances.