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The People v. James William Bonacci

July 19, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JAMES WILLIAM BONACCI, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 08F8884)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robie, J.

P. v. Bonacci

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A jury found defendant James William Bonacci guilty of possession of methamphetamine for sale and two misdemeanors--possession of narcotics paraphernalia and possession of a hypodermic syringe. Defendant admitted that he had two prior narcotics convictions and had served two prior prison terms. He was sentenced to state prison for 11 years. Defendant was awarded 31 days' custody credit and 30 days' conduct credit.*fn1

On appeal, defendant contends his conviction must be modified to simple possession of methamphetamine because there was insufficient evidence that his possession was for the purpose of sale. He argues that, although two prosecution experts were of the opinion that the possession was for sale, the two experts relied on different factors in reaching their opinions. We shall modify the judgment to award additional conduct credit and affirm the judgment as modified.

FACTS

On June 20, 2008, at approximately 7:00 a.m., officers with the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at a residence in Anderson.

Officer Casey Day was one of the first officers inside the residence. He had previously made between 200 and 300 narcotic arrests, had participated in the execution of 60 to 100 search warrants, and had qualified as an expert witness on the issue of possession of narcotics for sale 10 to 15 times.

Officer Day entered the residence and found defendant, who was seated in a reclining chair in the living room. Defendant appeared to be under the influence of a stimulant such as methamphetamine. He was sweating, coughing, and evidently sick enough to be close to vomiting.

While Officer Day was present, another investigator located a multi-colored cloth bag within five or six feet of defendant. The bag contained: (1) three baggies of methamphetamine; (2) additional "clean" unused baggies; (3) a digital gram scale coated with apparent methamphetamine residue; (4) a hypodermic needle and syringe; (5) a folded or bent piece of cardboard; (6) a glass smoking pipe with residue; and (7) a telephone address book. Additional glass smoking pipes coated with apparent methamphetamine residue were found on a coffee table.

Officer Day testified that the clean plastic packaging material found in the cloth bag was of the type typically used for packaging quantities of controlled substances. It was his opinion that the hypodermic needle was the sort typically used for ingesting methamphetamine. He further testified that the bent cardboard could be used to insert or remove methamphetamine powder from the baggies; the powder can be difficult to handle without spillage.

Officer Day interviewed defendant after he waived his constitutional rights. Defendant admitted that he had been smoking methamphetamine just before the officers entered the residence and that he had used one of the smoking pipes located on the coffee table. He also ...


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