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State v. Tracy

August 08, 2003

STATE OF MINNESOTA, RESPONDENT,
v.
RAVEN A. TRACY, APPELLANT.



Clay County District Court File No. K3011560

Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge, Anderson, Judge, and Parker, Judge.*fn1

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. The evidence is not sufficient to support a conviction of conspiracy to commit a controlled-substance crime in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 152.0261, subd. 1, 152.096, subd. 1 (2000), when there is no evidence that the alleged conspirators agreed that one of the conspirators would cross a Minnesota border while in possession of a controlled substance.

2. Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 128.05 does not authorize a party to raise an issue for the first time at oral argument.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Peterson, Judge

Reversed

OPINION

Appellant Raven A. Tracy was convicted of conspiracy to commit a first-degree controlled-substance crime in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 152.021, subd. 1(1) (sale of controlled substance), 152.096, subd. 1 (2000) (prohibiting conspiracies); and conspiracy to commit a controlled-substance crime in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 152.0261, subd. 1 (importing controlled substance across state borders), 152.096, subd. 1 (2000) (prohibiting conspiracies). In this appeal from her conviction of conspiracy to import a controlled substance, appellant argues that (1) Minn. Stat. § 152.0261 (2000) is violated only where a defendant crosses a Minnesota border while in possession of a controlled substance; and (2) the evidence fails to support the court's verdict that she was guilty of conspiring to import a controlled substance across state borders. Alternatively, appellant argues that because her convictions were part of a single behavioral incident, she should not have been sentenced on both convictions. We reverse.

FACTS

When police officers executed a search warrant at the residence of Patricia Schwartz in Moorhead, Minnesota, they found: 17 grams of methamphetamine; drug paraphernalia for personal use of controlled substances and for use in the sale and distribution of controlled substances; an "owed/paid" list; two address books that contained appellant's name with a California address; and an envelope addressed to "R.áTracy" at a San Leandro, California address. The envelope contained $8,000 and a letter purportedly referencing several drug transactions between appellant and Schwartz.

Based on the evidence found in Schwartz's home, officials in California executed a search warrant at appellant's California address. Officers found a small amount of methamphetamine and an address book containing Schwartz's name and address. Subpoenaed telephone records showed numerous calls between appellant and Schwartz.

Appellant stipulated that she and Schwartz had an arrangement under which appellant provided methamphetamine to Schwartz, and Schwartz divided up and sold the methamphetamine in Clay County, Minnesota. Schwartz then mailed to appellant the cash she received for the methamphetamine. The specific arrangements were made by telephone, and the United States postal service was used to deliver the drugs and money.

Two of Schwartz's friends, Michelle Specht and Carl Renecker, occasionally received packages of methamphetamine from appellant, which they, in turn, routed to Schwartz.*fn2

Following a bench trial, the court found appellant guilty of conspiracy to commit a first-degree controlled-substance crime in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 152.021, subd. 1(1) (sale of controlled substance), 152.096, subd. 1 (2000) (prohibiting conspiracies); and conspiracy to commit a controlled-substance crime in violation of Minn. Stat. §§á152.0261, subd. 1 (importing controlled substance across state borders), 152.096, subd. 1 (2000) (prohibiting conspiracies). The court sentenced appellant to concurrent terms of 105 months for conspiracy to sell and 129 months for conspiracy to import a controlled substance.

In her appeal to this court, appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support her conviction of conspiracy to import a controlled substance. During oral argument, the state argued that appellant waived her ...


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