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[U] Commonwealth v. Brown

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 7, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
MILTON C. BROWN Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of May 31, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County Criminal Division at No.: CP-07-CR-0001211-2012

BEFORE: PANELLA, J., OLSON, J., and WECHT, J.

MEMORANDUM

WECHT, J.

Milton Brown appeals from his May 31, 2013 judgment of sentence. We affirm.

On March 26, 2012, Corporal Christopher Moser and Sergeant Troy Johannides of the Altoona Police Department set up a controlled drug buy using a confidential informant, Frank Lang. The initial target was James Garman, but the buy also targeted Garman's supplier, in this case, Brown. Prior to the buy, Corporal Moser conducted a search of Lang's car and Sergeant Johannides searched Lang. Corporal Moser followed Lang to the area near James Garman's residence. Garman entered Lang's vehicle and they drove a short distance to a Sheetz convenience store. Lang parked a couple of blocks away. Garman walked toward the Sheetz while Lang remained in the car. A few minutes later, Brown arrived, and he and Garman entered the Sheetz. Brown and Garman stayed in the store a few minutes, then left separately.

Garman returned to Lang's vehicle. Lang and Garman returned to Garman's residence. They walked in between two houses, and then, approximately eight minutes later, Lang returned to his car. Lang met with the police officers and turned over nine packets of heroin. The packets had a red Coca-Cola mark.

Garman testified that he was a set-up man for drug transactions. He would receive a portion of the drugs in exchange for brokering the deals. Notes of Testimony ("N.T."), 3/25-26/2013, at 86-87. Lang asked Garman to get heroin for Lang. Garman told Lang he could get ten bags of heroin for two hundred dollars. Id. at 88. Garman called Brown to arrange to purchase the heroin, and Brown told Garman to meet him at the Sheetz. Id. at 92. Garman and Brown exchanged the money for the drugs in the Sheetz and Garman left. Id. at 94. Garman was uncertain if he received one or two bags of heroin as his finder's fee. Id. at 95-96. Brown testified that he happened to meet Garman at the Sheetz, but denied that any drug transaction occurred. Id. at 362-63.

Brown was charged with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute ("PWID"), and possession.[1] Following a jury trial on March 25 and 26, 2013, Brown was convicted only of conspiracy. On May 31, 2013, Brown was sentenced to three to six years' incarceration.

On June 20, 2013, Brown filed a notice of appeal. On June 24, 2013, the trial court ordered Brown to file a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b). Brown timely complied and the trial court filed its Rule 1925(a) opinion.

Brown presents three issues for our review:
I. Whether there was insufficient evidence to support the jury's guilty verdict on the charge of criminal conspiracy when the jury found [Brown] not guilty on the charges of possession with intent to deliver and possession of [a] controlled substance.
II. Whether the jury returned inconsistent verdicts by finding [Brown guilty] of criminal conspiracy and not guilty of possession with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance.
III. Whether the Assistant District Attorney committed prosecutorial misconduct by personally vouching for the credibility of the Commonwealth witnesses and by ...

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