People v. Emmal, No. G021290

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtBEDSWORTH; WALLIN, Acting P.J., and CROSBY
Citation80 Cal.Rptr.2d 907,68 Cal.App.4th 1313
Parties, 99 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 51 The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Ronald Jay EMMAL, Defendant and Appellant.
Decision Date30 December 1998
Docket NumberNo. G021290

Page 907

80 Cal.Rptr.2d 907
68 Cal.App.4th 1313, 99 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 51
The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Ronald Jay EMMAL, Defendant and Appellant.
No. G021290.
Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3, California.
Dec. 30, 1998.
Review Denied March 24, 1999.
Certified for Partial Publication. *

Page 908

[68 Cal.App.4th 1314] Jerry D. Whatley, Santa Barbara, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

[68 Cal.App.4th 1315] Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General, George Williamson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gary W. Schons, Senior Assistant Attorney General, and Esteban Hernandez, Deputy Attorney General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

BEDSWORTH, J.

A jury convicted Ronald Jay Emmal of transporting methamphetamine but found him not guilty of possessing it for sale. The trial court then found two "strike" allegations and four one-year prior allegations to be true. Emmal claims (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court provided the jury a defective definition

Page 909

of "transportation"; (3) the court improperly augmented his 25-years-to-life sentence with three one-year sentence enhancements; and (4) his sentence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. We find no merit in any of these contentions and affirm the judgment.

* * *

Investigators Shawn Condon and Michael Helmick of the Anaheim Police Department saw Emmal parked in the parking lot of the Mediterranean Motel and thought the passenger in his car resembled a bombing suspect they were looking for. They drove slowly past the parked car and looked closely at Emmal and his passenger. Convinced neither was their man, they pulled into another parking space so they could turn around and depart, only--to their amazement--to have Emmal drive up behind them and block their exit.

The upshot of the ensuing events, not germane to this appeal, was that Emmal's passenger confronted the officers while Emmal started to leave, drove about 20 feet through the parking lot, then got out and walked back to the officers. In a search not contested here, police found a baggie containing 991 milligrams of methamphetamine, a very active pager (according to Condon, it went off "continually"), and $400 cash in Emmal's pocket.

I

Emmal insists the evidence undergirding his conviction is insufficient as a matter of law because he only drove his car about 20 feet, and such "minimal movement" is not nearly enough to constitute "transportation" within the meaning of Health and Safety Code section 11379. We cannot agree.

Section 11379 merely requires a person "transport [ ]" methamphetamine. It makes no attempt to quantify the distance that [68 Cal.App.4th 1316] must be traversed. As we have observed before, "Transportation of a controlled substance is established by [simply] carrying or conveying a usable quantity of a controlled substance with knowledge of its presence and illegal character. [Citations.]" (People v. Meza (1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 1741, 1746, 45 Cal.Rptr.2d 844.) Neither this nor any other court has ever required that the length of travel exceed "minimal movement."

Emmal concedes the cases interpreting the statute set no threshold for the distance that must be driven, but he urges us to set one, analogizing his case to People v. Daniels (1969) 71 Cal.2d 1119, 80 Cal.Rptr. 897, 459 P.2d 225. There, our Supreme Court held that incidental movement of a robbery victim did not transmogrify the robbery into a kidnapping. Hence, the court explained, the greater penalties applicable to kidnapping could not properly be applied. Emmal suggests that the reasoning of Daniels should be engrafted here because "the Legislature could not have intended to inflict the heavy punishment of the trafficking statute for an act of moving a small amount of methamphetamine which is merely an incident to the crime of possessing that contraband...." But the crime for which Emmal was convicted is not a mere incident to the crime of possessing methamphetamine.

In comparing the crimes of robbery and kidnapping, the Daniels court observed, " 'It is difficult to conceive of a situation in which the victim of a robbery does not make some movement under the duress occasioned by force or fear.' [Citation.]" (People v. Daniels, supra, 71 Cal.2d at p. 1134, 80 Cal.Rptr. 897, 459 P.2d 225.) Yet, the court reasoned, the Legislature could not have intended that every robbery be a kidnapping simply because movement is involved. The court therefore held that kidnapping requires some movement in addition to that associated with the robbery--a movement that "substantially...

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55 practice notes
  • People v. Z.A. (In re Z.A.), No. D060033.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 26 Julio 2012
    ...656, 952 P.2d 673.) Z.A. contends that there is insufficient evidence that she transported marijuana. (Citing People v. Emmal (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1313, 1318, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 907 [for purposes of establishing the transportation element [207 Cal.App.4th 1426]contained in § 11379 (transportin......
  • People v. Z.A. (In re Z.A.), No. D060033.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 26 Julio 2012
    ...656, 952 P.2d 673.) Z.A. contends that there is insufficient evidence that she transported marijuana. (Citing People v. Emmal (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1313, 1318, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 907 [for purposes of establishing the transportation element [207 Cal.App.4th 1426]contained in § 11379 (transportin......
  • People v. Ormiston, No. A094813.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 22 Enero 2003
    ...and illegal character." (People v. Meza (1995) 38 Cal. App.4th 1741, 1746 [45 Cal.Rptr.2d 844]; see also People v. Emmal (1998) 68 Cal. App.4th 1313, 1315-1316 [80 Cal.Rptr.2d 907].) "The crux of the crime of transporting is movement of the contraband from one place to another.&qu......
  • Roy v. Haviland, 2: 10 - cv - 245 - TJB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • 17 Agosto 2011
    ...their own personal use and to restrict their access to sources of supply." (Id. at pp. 136-137; see also People v. Emmal (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1313, 1316.)In People v. Ormiston (2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 676, the Court of Appeal held that the term "transport" in Health and Safety......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
55 cases
  • People v. Z.A. (In re Z.A.), No. D060033.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 26 Julio 2012
    ...656, 952 P.2d 673.) Z.A. contends that there is insufficient evidence that she transported marijuana. (Citing People v. Emmal (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1313, 1318, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 907 [for purposes of establishing the transportation element [207 Cal.App.4th 1426]contained in § 11379 (transportin......
  • People v. Z.A. (In re Z.A.), No. D060033.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 26 Julio 2012
    ...656, 952 P.2d 673.) Z.A. contends that there is insufficient evidence that she transported marijuana. (Citing People v. Emmal (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1313, 1318, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 907 [for purposes of establishing the transportation element [207 Cal.App.4th 1426]contained in § 11379 (transportin......
  • People v. Ormiston, No. A094813.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 22 Enero 2003
    ...and illegal character." (People v. Meza (1995) 38 Cal. App.4th 1741, 1746 [45 Cal.Rptr.2d 844]; see also People v. Emmal (1998) 68 Cal. App.4th 1313, 1315-1316 [80 Cal.Rptr.2d 907].) "The crux of the crime of transporting is movement of the contraband from one place to another.&qu......
  • Roy v. Haviland, 2: 10 - cv - 245 - TJB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • 17 Agosto 2011
    ...their own personal use and to restrict their access to sources of supply." (Id. at pp. 136-137; see also People v. Emmal (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1313, 1316.)In People v. Ormiston (2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 676, the Court of Appeal held that the term "transport" in Health and Safety......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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