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COMMONWEALTH v. RIVERS (02/02/76)

decided: February 2, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
RIVERS, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County, No. 74-10, 272, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Launey E. Rivers.

COUNSEL

Launey Earl Rivers, in propria persona, and Charles J. Tague, Assistant Public Defender, and Peter T. Campana, Public Defender, for appellant.

Allen E. Ertel, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J. Jacobs, J., dissents.

Author: Hoffman

[ 238 Pa. Super. Page 320]

This appeal is taken from appellant's conviction of two counts of conspiracy, two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, and two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Trooper Blackledge, an undercover narcotics agent, related the circumstances surrounding the appellant's arrest. He testified that on March 7, 1974, he went to a residence on Brandon Place in Williamsport where he spoke with Robert Moore. Fifteen minutes later, the appellant arrived. The trooper, posing as a dealer from State College, stated that he wanted to purchase some heroin. After a general discussion of drugs, the appellant asked him if he wanted to buy "a spoon of pure" for

[ 238 Pa. Super. Page 321]

$500.00. The appellant then demonstrated how to separate the heroin and how to mix it with other substances. Trooper Blackledge paid for the drugs and left.

On March 14, 1974, Trooper Blackledge met the appellant in the parking lot of a shopping center near Williams-port. The trooper followed the appellant to an auto store where the trooper indicated that he wanted to buy some more heroin. Arrangements were made to meet later that day at the Brandon Street residence. When the trooper arrived, he engaged Linda Badger and Robert Moore in conversation.*fn1 Appellant arrived shortly thereafter, and the topic of conversation turned to the purchase of four spoons of heroin. Trooper Blackledge indicated that he was apprehensive about the size of the sale, but he was reassured when the appellant stated that he regularly engaged in much larger sales. Eventually, an agreement was reached for the purchase of twelve twenty-five pack bundles of heroin for $1500.00. Appellant then left the residence. Linda Badger also departed and returned shortly thereafter with the heroin. Trooper Blackledge paid for the drugs and left.

Appellant was indicted on two counts of conspiracy, two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, and two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. On October 31, 1974, appellant, after trial by jury, was found guilty of all six counts. After timely post-trial motions were filed, argued and denied, the appellant was sentenced to ten to thirty years' imprisonment, plus costs, fine and restitution. This appeal followed.

Appellant makes numerous contentions regarding actions taken by the lower court. Because we find that testimony concerning the ...


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