PEOPLE v. SOTO

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Theresa SOTO, Defendant-Appellant.

Decided: November 21, 2006

TOM, J.P., ANDRIAS, SAXE, GONZALEZ, SWEENY, JJ. Center for Appellate Litigation, New York (Robert S. Dean of counsel), for appellant. Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney, New York (Jung Park of counsel), for respondent.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Edward J. McLaughlin, J.), rendered March 5, 2004, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, and sentencing her to concurrent terms of 1 to 3 years, unanimously affirmed.

The verdict was based on legally sufficient evidence and was not against the weight of the evidence.   Defendant's arguments are substantially similar to arguments that this Court rejected on a codefendant's appeal (People v. DeJesus, 30 A.D.3d 1132, 817 N.Y.S.2d 12 [2006], lv. denied 7 N.Y.3d 811, 822 N.Y.S.2d 486, 855 N.E.2d 802 [2006] ).   There is no basis for disturbing the jury's determinations concerning credibility.   The evidence supported the conclusion that defendant was a participant in the sale and a joint possessor of the drugs (see People v. Bello, 92 N.Y.2d 523, 683 N.Y.S.2d 168, 705 N.E.2d 1209 [1998];  see also People v. Bundy, 90 N.Y.2d 918, 920, 663 N.Y.S.2d 837, 686 N.E.2d 496 [1997] ).   In particular, there was evidence supporting the inference that as the police approached the van from which drugs were being sold, defendant attempted to hide drugs in the crevice of a seat.   We have considered and rejected defendant's remaining arguments.