People v. Solo, Cr. 3962

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtAULT; GERALD BROWN, P.J., and COUGHLIN
Citation86 Cal.Rptr. 829,8 Cal.App.3d 201
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Mike Edward SOLO, Defendant and Appellant.
Docket NumberCr. 3962
Decision Date26 May 1970

Page 829

86 Cal.Rptr. 829
8 Cal.App.3d 201
The PEOPLE of the State of California, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Mike Edward SOLO, Defendant and Appellant.
Cr. 3962.
Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1, California.
May 26, 1970.

Page 830

[8 Cal.App.3d 204] John R. Hart, for defendant and appellant.

Thomas C. Lynch, Atty. Gen., William E. James, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Kenneth C. Young, Deputy Atty. Gen., for plaintiff and respondent.

Page 831

OPINION

AULT, Associate Justice.

Appellant, Mike Edward Solo, and his codefendants, Stephen Lee Johnson, Jeffrey Harold Mercer and Jack Benjamin Weidner, Jr., were jointly charged in an information filed by the District Attorney of Imperial County with possession of marijuana for sale (Health & Saf. Code, sec. 11530.5), and with transporting marijuana (Health & Saf. Code, sec. 11531). They all entered pleas of not guilty to the charges; appellant Solo's motion to dismiss pursuant to Penal Code, section 995 was denied. The defendants properly waived jury trial and the case was submitted to the trial judge for decision on the reporter's transcript of the preliminary hearing, certain stipulations of fact and brief additional testimony. All the defendants, including appellant, were found guilty of both charges. Solo's application for probation was denied; he was sentenced to prison for the term prescribed by law on each count, the sentences to run concurrently. His sentences were suspended and he was committed to the California Youth Authority. Solo appeals from the judgment of conviction.

STATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE

Shortly after noon on September 12, 1969, Officer Hartley of the California Highway Patrol noted a light green Volkswagen sedan with a blue left front fender parked at the Andrade Port of Entry near Winterhaven, California. The car was unoccupied, but Customs Inspector Priest was talking to two young men just outside of the car. Hartley overheard Priest comment that some persons known to the young men had been 'busted' for narcotic violations. Priest asked the two men if they had anything to do with it. One of them stated, 'We are too smart to do anything like that.' Later [8 Cal.App.3d 205] Officer Hartley and Inspector Priest held a brief discussion and Priest stated, '* * * he wouldn't be at all surprised if they weren't up to something from the way they were acting.' Hartley took a good look at the car in case he might see it again.

Later that afternoon Hartley was eastbound on Interstate 8 near the sand dunes. He observed the Volkswagen he had seen earlier westbound on the freeway. He made a U-turn across the divided highway and began following the Volkswagen. Meanwhile, Esthus Edward Chowning was driving a truck and trailer westbound on Interstate 8. Looking back, Chowning saw the Volkswagen followed by the highway patrol vehicle approaching from the rear. He was driving his truck at about 55 miles per hour and the Volkswagen was traveling approximately 60 miles per hour. He thought the Volkswagen was going to run into his trailer. The Volkswagen passed the truck and pulled in front of it. When the car was approximately 100 feet in front of the truck, the right door was opened and a large bag was thrown to the side of the road. Chowning brought his truck to a stop and waived down Officer Hartley, who pulled his patrol vehicle alongside the cab of the truck. Chowning told Hartley a bag had been thrown to the shoulder of the road from the Volkswagen which had just passed him. Hartley immediately contacted Officer Ladd of the highway patrol by radio, described the Volkswagen, indicated a package had been thrown from it and asked Ladd to stop and detain the vehicle until he could determine what had been thrown from the car.

Hartley drove Chowning back down the highway about one-half mile where they found the bag lying beside the road. It was a white cloth laundry bag with a drawstring. Hartley opened the bag and observed several paper-wrapped packages in brick form which he believed to be marijuana. Although the packages were wrapped, he could see the marijuana through holes in the paper. Hartley immediately informed Ladd by radio he had found the bag and what appeared to be marijuana and

Page 832

learned Ladd had already stopped the Volkswagen. He and Chowning proceeded in the patrol car to where Ladd had the car detained, a distance of about two miles. Approximately seven minutes elapsed between the time Chowning flagged Hartley down and their arrival at the point where the Volkswagen had been stopped.

The four defendants were in the Volkswagen when it was stopped by Ladd; Solo was in the left rear seat. The defendants were initially arrested for possession of marijuana. They gave no statements to the police officers and did not testify at the preliminary hearing or at the trial. No marijuana debris was found in the Volkswagen or in any of the defendants' clothing. There were 18 kilo bricks of marijuana in the laundry bag.

Solo's only contention on appeal is the evidence is insufficient to support [8 Cal.App.3d 206] his conviction of either possession of marijuana for sale or transporting marijuana, because there was no evidence he exercised dominion and control over the marijuana which was the basis of the charge, had knowledge of its presence in the car or knew of its narcotic content.

To support his conviction of either possession of marijuana for sale or...

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28 practice notes
  • People v. Reed, No. S136345.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 3, 2006
    ...by the majority, but not with its reasoning. --------------- Notes: 1. We also cited in Rogers the decision in People v. Solo (1970) 8 Cal.App.3d 201, 208, 86 Cal.Rptr. 829, which recognized that a defendant could properly be convicted of both possession of marijuana for sale and transporta......
  • Gupta v. Beard, Case No. CV 14-1709-CJC (KK)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • March 27, 2015
    ...of its narcotic content may be inferred from the accused's conduct or statements at or near the time of his arrest." People v. Solo, 8 Cal. App. 3d 201, 206 (Cal. Ct. App. 1970), disapproved on other grounds by People v. Rogers, 5 Cal.3d 129, 134, n.4 (1971). 3. AnalysisPage 96 Here, as men......
  • People v. Rogers, Cr. 14756
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • June 22, 1971
    ...96 Cal.App.2d 74, 76, 214 P.2d 414; Page 604 [486 P.2d 132] see 2 Witkin, Cal.Crimes (1963) p. 644; but see People v. Solo, Supra, 8 Cal.App.3d 201, 206, 86 Cal.Rptr. 829; People v. Sanders, 250 Cal.App.2d 123, 134, 58 Cal.Rptr. 259.) For example, were defendant shown to have aided and abet......
  • People v. Poehner, Cr. 4288
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 31, 1971
    ...of the defendant over the operation of the vehicle and (2) the size of the package containing the contraband. (See People v. Solo, 8 Cal.App.3d 201, 207, 86 Cal.Rptr. 829.) Defendant was the driver of the Volkswagen; could have stopped at a wide place in the road 600 feet distant from the p......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • People v. Reed, No. S136345.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 3, 2006
    ...by the majority, but not with its reasoning. --------------- Notes: 1. We also cited in Rogers the decision in People v. Solo (1970) 8 Cal.App.3d 201, 208, 86 Cal.Rptr. 829, which recognized that a defendant could properly be convicted of both possession of marijuana for sale and transporta......
  • Gupta v. Beard, Case No. CV 14-1709-CJC (KK)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • March 27, 2015
    ...of its narcotic content may be inferred from the accused's conduct or statements at or near the time of his arrest." People v. Solo, 8 Cal. App. 3d 201, 206 (Cal. Ct. App. 1970), disapproved on other grounds by People v. Rogers, 5 Cal.3d 129, 134, n.4 (1971). 3. AnalysisPage 96 Here, as men......
  • People v. Rogers, Cr. 14756
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • June 22, 1971
    ...96 Cal.App.2d 74, 76, 214 P.2d 414; Page 604 [486 P.2d 132] see 2 Witkin, Cal.Crimes (1963) p. 644; but see People v. Solo, Supra, 8 Cal.App.3d 201, 206, 86 Cal.Rptr. 829; People v. Sanders, 250 Cal.App.2d 123, 134, 58 Cal.Rptr. 259.) For example, were defendant shown to have aided and abet......
  • People v. Poehner, Cr. 4288
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 31, 1971
    ...of the defendant over the operation of the vehicle and (2) the size of the package containing the contraband. (See People v. Solo, 8 Cal.App.3d 201, 207, 86 Cal.Rptr. 829.) Defendant was the driver of the Volkswagen; could have stopped at a wide place in the road 600 feet distant from the p......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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