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The People v. Arturo Eugene Bent

February 16, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
ARTURO EUGENE BENT, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. NCR77407)

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

P. v. Bent 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

In a trial to the court following his waiver of jury trial, defendant Arturo Eugene Bent was convicted of three counts of selling methamphetamine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11379, subd. (a); counts I-III) and a count of maintaining a place for the sale of methamphetamine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11366; count IV). The court found that defendant had suffered four prior narcotics convictions (Health & Saf. Code, § 11370.2, subd. (c)) and had served two prior prison terms (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (b)).*fn1 Defendant was sentenced to state prison for 17 years eight months, consisting of three years on count I, one year each on counts II and III, eight months on count IV, and 12 years for the prior narcotics convictions. The two prison term enhancements were stricken under section 1385. Defendant was awarded 266 days' custody credit and 266 days' conduct credit consistent with the 2010 amendment of section 2933. (Former § 2933, subd. (e)(3) [as amended by Stats. 2010, ch. 426, § 1, eff. Sept. 28, 2010].)

On appeal, defendant contends the eight-month state prison term on count IV must be stayed pursuant to section 654. He argues count IV did not have a criminal objective separate from the three counts of selling methamphetamine. We affirm the judgment.

FACTS

Prosecution Case-in-Chief

On three occasions informant Walter Nadeau, working with officers from the Tehama County drug task force, purchased useable quantities of methamphetamine from defendant at his residence in Gerber. Nadeau previously had given defendant a ride home, and defendant had told Nadeau to come by, day or night, any time Nadeau "wanted anything."

On March 4, 2009, Nadeau purchased methamphetamine from defendant at his residence. Defendant had the methamphetamine in his pocket. The drug was packaged in a plastic bag. A woman was present at the house during the buy.

On March 11, 2009, Nadeau again purchased methamphetamine from defendant at his residence. This time, defendant retrieved the drug from a plate under his bed and from other areas around the house, including a shed on his property. A different woman was present during this buy. Defendant packaged the drugs in a paper bindle and handed it to Nadeau.

After receiving the bindle, Nadeau arranged to make a third purchase. Defendant asked Nadeau to give him a ride to his source of the drugs. Nadeau answered that he could not give defendant a ride and said he would return in about 25 minutes to make the third purchase. Nadeau departed, returned to defendant's house a half hour to 45 minutes later, and purchased more methamphetamine from defendant. Defendant removed the drugs, packaged in a paper bindle, from his sock or shoe. When defendant handed Nadeau the drugs, Nadeau perceived that the quantity was short of the agreed amount.

Between the purchases on March 4 and 11, 2009, Nadeau had returned to defendant's residence on one or two occasions but defendant had not been home. Nadeau was at defendant's residence about 30 to 45 minutes during the first buy, 14 ...


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