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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. HERMAN MARSHALL CAMERON (04/19/77)

decided: April 19, 1977.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
HERMAN MARSHALL CAMERON, JR., APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Criminal, at Nos. 1072, 1073, 1075 of 1975.

COUNSEL

Edward F. Browne, Jr., Assistant Public Defender, Lancaster, for appellant.

James R. Leonard, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, D. Richard Eckman, District Attorney, Lancaster, for appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Hoffman and Cercone, JJ., concur in the result.

Author: Price

[ 247 Pa. Super. Page 437]

Appellant was indicted on three counts of delivery of heroin in violation of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act*fn1 and two counts of criminal conspiracy.*fn2 A jury found appellant guilty on all counts. Post-verdict motions were denied, and appellant was sentenced to pay a fine of $100.00 and to serve a two to five year term of imprisonment on the first delivery count, concurrent two to five year periods for each remaining delivery count, and concurrent two year probationary terms for each conspiracy count.

Appellant first challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to prove the crimes charged. "When testing the sufficiency of the evidence, we must review the testimony in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, Commonwealth v. Blevins, 453 Pa. 481, 309 A.2d 421 (1973), and must accept as true all of the evidence, direct or circumstantial, and all reasonable inferences arising from the evidence, upon which the trier of facts could properly have based the verdict. Commonwealth v. Fortune, 456 Pa. 365, 318 A.2d 327 (1974)." Commonwealth v. Carter, 230 Pa. Super. 236, 238-9, 326 A.2d 480, 481-2 (1974). After reviewing the record, we find that the evidence was sufficient to establish appellant's guilt on all charges.

On March 6, 1975, Officers Richard Smith and Carlos Aquino of the Philadelphia Police Narcotics Unit were assigned, for thirty days, to the Lancaster City Police Department as undercover narcotics policemen. During this period, the two officers attempted to locate narcotic suppliers by posing as heroin addicts. Appellant became their middleman for the five transactions involved in this case.

While driving around Lancaster on March 7, 1975, Officer Smith and his associate became suspicious that appellant was selling drugs. They first observed appellant on Chester

[ 247 Pa. Super. Page 438]

Street, leaning into a car and conversing with its occupants. The officers drove around the block and approached the appellant. During a short conversation, the officers explained that they had just arrived from Philadelphia and were in need of a supply of heroin. As a result of this conversation, the parties met at approximately 1:00 a. m. on March 8, and appellant led the officers to a house at 238 Howard Street where they purchased two packets of heroin from the occupants, Heriberto Cintron and Jose Rojas. The sale was consummated when Rojas passed the heroin packets to appellant who passed them to Officer Smith. Smith gave the money directly to Rojas.

The second incident occurred the same day, March 8, at 9:05 p. m., when appellant took the officers to the apartment of Felix Negron at 145 Chester Street. Negron was hesitant to sell because he did not know the buyers. During the conversation, Negron stated that appellant "was going to have all the police coming down here," because he was "always bringing [unknown] people around here." Appellant assured Negron that "[h]e's alright, I know him." The transaction was completed when Negron's associate Nelson Rojas, who was Jose's brother, and Officer Smith exchanged the money and drugs.

The third transaction took place on March 10. Appellant took Smith to 238 Howard Street where Smith purchased heroin directly from Jose Rojas. Although appellant was ...


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