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JONES v. STATE

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Court of Appeals of Georgia.

JONES v. The STATE.

No. A97A1747.

Decided: October 29, 1997

Leonard M. Tuggle, Jr., Martinez, Lawrence D. Galehouse, Augusta, for appellant. Daniel J. Craig, District Attorney, Charles R. Sheppard, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

Johann Sebastian Jones was convicted of selling cocaine.   In his sole enumeration of error, he challenges the sufficiency of the evidence.

This case arose after an undercover officer met Jones on a road near a community center.  Price v. State, 222 Ga.App. 655, 657(2), 475 S.E.2d 692 (1996) (evidence on appeal must be viewed in a light most favorable to the verdict).   When the officer told him she wanted “a twenty,” he asked if she was with the police.   After she denied any affiliation with the police, Jones arranged for the officer to meet him at a nearby park.   Upon the officer's arrival, Jones and an unidentified man walked up to her car.   Then Jones said, “Yeah, go ahead,” and the unidentified man handed a small piece of a substance which subsequently tested positive for cocaine to the officer in exchange for $20.   Jones then stated, “It's straight,” meaning the cocaine was of good quality.   This transaction was videotaped.   Later that day, another officer arrested Jones.   Held:

The evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, was sufficient to allow the jury to find each essential element of the sale of cocaine.  Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319-320, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 2789-90, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979);  OCGA § 16-13-30(b).   The undercover officer testified that Jones arranged for her to meet the unidentified individual who provided the cocaine and he presided over the sale, even vouching for the cocaine's quality.   The jury was instructed on parties to a crime, and we find the evidence was sufficient to authorize Jones' conviction as a party to the crime of the sale of cocaine.  OCGA § 16-2-20(b)(3);  Wrease v. State, 214 Ga.App. 727, 728(1), 448 S.E.2d 911 (1994).   These facts and Jones' repeated inquiries about whether the undercover officer was affiliated with the police undermine his assertion that he was merely present at the scene and lacked criminal intent.  Woods v. State, 224 Ga.App. 52, 55(4), 479 S.E.2d 414 (1996).

Judgment affirmed.

HAROLD R. BANKE, Senior Appellate Judge.

POPE, P.J., and BLACKBURN, J., concur.

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