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The People v. Michael Bruce Pryor

August 28, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
MICHAEL BRUCE PRYOR, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. Nos. NCR77278, NCR79990, NCR80380 & NCR81206)

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

P. v. Pryor 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 three consolidated cases that were based on multiple searches taking place on three different dates, a jury convicted defendant of two counts of cultivating marijuana (Health & Saf. Code, § 11358) (counts I and IV), three counts of possession of marijuana for sale (Health & Saf. Code, § 11359) (counts II, V and IX), transporting marijuana (Health & Saf. Code, § 11360, subd. (a)) (count VIII), and misdemeanor driving on a revoked license (Veh. Code, § 14601.1, subd. (a)) (count X). Defendant admitted the special allegations that he was released on bail when he committed the offenses in the later two cases (Pen. Code, § 12022.1). In a fourth case, defendant pled no contest to conspiracy (Pen. Code, § 127). He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Defendant contends his conviction must be reversed because he was not permitted to challenge the legality of one of the searches during trial. He contends that once the trial court learned at trial of evidence suggesting the first search may have been illegal, the court had a duty to investigate the legality of that search. Defendant also contends, and the People concede, that several of the on-bail enhancements were erroneously imposed. We agree with defendant's last contention, and shall strike the on-bail enhancements imposed on counts IV, V, and IX. In all other respects, we shall affirm.

BACKGROUND

The Crimes

On July 30, 2009, members of the Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement Task Force searched four locations: defendant's residence on Ivy Lane, his business on Vista Way, his wife's business also on Vista Way, and property on Balis Bell Road that defendant leased from Norman Andreini. The Balis Bell Road property was rural property 25 miles west of downtown Red Bluff. There was no house on the property, only a travel trailer.

The task force members found three garden sites on the Balis Bell Road property, containing 91, 75, and 25 marijuana plants, respectively. In the opinion of the investigator (also a sworn officer), these plants were possessed for sale, given the large number. A search of defendant's residence disclosed $5,700 in $20 bills, a denomination consistent with drug sales.

On August 30, 2010, officers obtained a search warrant to search three locations: property defendant leased on Emerson Road, property defendant leased on Stice Road, and defendant's residence on Ivy Lane. On the Emerson Road property, officers found marijuana growing in three locations, for a total of 197 plants. They found 30 marijuana plants growing outside at Stice Road and 23 plants growing inside at defendant's residence. An expert opined that based on the respective amounts, the marijuana was possessed for sale.

On October 27, 2010, defendant was stopped pursuant to a traffic stop. In the back of his SUV was a plastic tub that contained 11 individual packages of marijuana bud, each weighing about a pound.

Defendant's Motion for a Mistrial

The first witness at trial was Norman Andreini, who testified about his lease arrangement with defendant for the Balis Bell Road property. On cross-examination, Andreini testified he had flown over the property in the summer of 2009 because defendant had stopped making lease payments and Andreini was going to evict him. Andreini entered the property once during the eviction process; "[t]he night before he was raided." When asked how he knew defendant was going to be raided, Andreini responded, "Because I was asked by the officers to make sure the plants ...


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