People v. Valentin, 82-1608

Decision Date12 July 1985
Docket NumberNo. 82-1608,82-1608
Citation480 N.E.2d 1351,135 Ill.App.3d 22,89 Ill.Dec. 608
Parties, 89 Ill.Dec. 608 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Salvador VALENTIN, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

Richard M. Daley, State's Atty. of Cook County, Chicago (Michael E. Shabat and James S. Veldman, Asst. State's Attys., Chicago, for plaintiff-appellee.

LORENZ, Justice:

After a jury trial, defendant Salvador Valentin was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 56 1/2, pars. 1401, 1402 and 1204(c)(12) (heroin) ), and was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. Defendant maintains that the trial court erred in refusing to quash his arrest and suppress evidence seized in connection therewith; that the State failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; that the trial court erred in rejecting jury instructions submitted by defendant; and that the prosecutor prejudiced the jury with improper argument. The following facts are pertinent to our disposition.

In his complaint for a search warrant, Detective John Corcoran stated that he had known his informant for five months and had received correct information about narcotics from him on each of eight separate occasions. Corcoran further stated:

"On 2 October 1981 at about 10:30 Am, this individual contacted me and indicated that a person known to him as 'Julio' was selling Heroin from his residence at 1741 North Cicero. This subject stated that on this, 2 October 1981 at about 8:00 Am he went to this location at 1741 North Cicero and upon knocking on the 1st floor door, he was greeted by an individual known to him as 'Julio'. After being admitted into the 1st floor of this single family dwelling, Julio asked this subject what he was interested in. At this time, this subject stated that he wished to purchase an 'ounce' but wanted to know the exact price. The subject known as 'Julio' stated that it would cost $1600.00. At this point, my informant stated that he proceeded to give 'Julio' this amount, sixteen hundred dollars. My informant stated that Julio then indicated that he would have to put the ounce together and instructed my informant to accompany him into the basement apartment.

"Upon accompanying him into the basement, the subject Julio proceeded to the kitchen of this apartment and upon reaching under the refrigerator he proceeded to remove a clear plastic bag which contained a quantity of tan powder. At this point, he proceeded to place a quantity of the tan powder from the clear plastic bag on a 'gram scale' and upon checking the weight placed this substance into another plastic bag. At this point, my informant stated that the weight was about 10 grams. Julio stated that he was going to have to keep the rest here for someone else, but that he had more upstairs and wanted my informant to accompany him back upstairs to get the rest of the 'Stuff'. It should be noted that upon asking my informant what the conversation was about he explained that the subject Julio kept some of the substance downstairs and then took him back upstairs for the rest.

"At this point, my informant stated that he wanted to know if the substance he was purchasing was any good and Julio replied 'of course' and then proceeded to remove a small portion of the tan powder from the original plastic bag and gave it to my informant to 'sample'. My informant stated that he then placed this small portion into his nostrils and inhaled same. After a few minutes, he stated that he received the same effect that he has in the past when he has used Heroin. My informant indicated that he has been utilizing Heroin for the past ten (10) years and that this substance which he inhaled was in fact Heroin. After inhaling this substance, my informant stated that Julio took the original plastic bag which still contained a quantity of tan powder which the informant stated was Heroin, back under refrigerator. At this point, Julio took my informant and the gram scale and bag back upstairs to the first floor where he proceeded into the kitchen. He then instructed my informant to wait a few minutes, while he proceeded into another portion of the house. Upon returning he was carrying another clear plastic bag which also contained a quantity of tan powder. At this point, Julio stated 'to show my good faith, try some of this' and upon reaching into this clear plastic bag, he proceeded to remove a small portion and gave it to my informant. My informant stated that he then inhaled this tan powder and he again received the same effect that he has in the past when he has used Heroin. The subject Julio then removed some of the contents of this plastic bag and placed this on the gram scale and my informant stated that the scale read 15 grams. Julio then place this tan powder into the plastic bag which he had taken from the basement containing the 10 grams of Heroin. Julio then shook the contents up and said that my informant could step on it twice. At this point, Julio took the plastic bag which he had obtained from the 1st floor and placed it back in another portion of the house. He then told my informant to return if he needed any more 'stuff' and if he purchased larger amounts he would give him a better price. At this point, my informant left this residence. My informant stated that when he left this location the subject Julio was in possession of at least two clear plastic bag which contain Heroin.

"Based on the facts as presented, it is respectfully requested that a Search warrant be issued."

At 4:15 p.m. on October 2, 1981, Judge Stephen Schiller issued a search warrant for the first-floor and basement apartments of 1741 North Cicero Avenue. The warrant authorized the search of a man known as "Julio," described as a white male, 25 to 30 years old, 5'11"'', 150 to 160 lbs. with a light moustache and short, black, wavy hair. The warrant also authorized a search for heroin and for proof of residence.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Friday, October 2, 1981, the Chicago police executed the search warrant, and in the course of the search, arrested defendant. During a hearing on defendant's motion to quash the arrest and suppress evidence, two detectives testified that they knocked on the door to the first-floor apartment, heard noises inside, then forced the door open. Both detectives stated that as they entered, defendant was moving from the living room toward the dining room, away from the front door. Defendant was placed on the couch, and a woman and two small children were ordered to remain seated in the living room while the police conducted their search.

Defendant testified at the hearing that he lived in the basement apartment at 1741 North Cicero. He said that his name was not Julio, that he had nothing to do with the drugs seized, and that he did not pay rent, utilities, or any other bills for the first-floor apartment. Defendant stated that on October 2, 1981, he was visiting the lady who lived in the first-floor apartment, whose name he did not know. His first knowledge of the police came when they broke the door. When they entered defendant was seated on the sofa. He stood up and they sat him down. Cross-examination produced this colloquy:

[ASSISTANT STATE'S ATTORNEY] You are five foot eleven inches tall, are you not?

[DEFENDANT] More or less.

Q. And you were that height and weight or about that height and weight on October 2, 1981, weren't you?

A. I do not remember.

Q. Your hair was black on that date, wasn't it?

A. My hair is brown.

Q. Very dark brown, isn't it?

A. Yes, the way it is now.

Q. And your hair was wavy on that date, wasn't it?

A. No.

Q. Was your hair as wavy then as it is today?

A. Yes. [DEFENSE COUNSEL] Objection, Judge, the defendant's hair is straight, not wavy.

THE COURT: It's got a wave on the side, very noticeable wave. Turn so your lawyer can see.

[ASSISTANT STATE'S ATTORNEY] You were between 25 and 30 years of age on October 2, 1981, weren't you?

A. Yes.

The trial court denied defendant's motion to quash the arrest.

At trial, Detective John Corcoran testified that the officers executing the search warrant first knocked and announced their offices, then they heard noises and broke the door down. Corcoran saw a woman on the couch and saw defendant moving from the couch toward the dining room, away from the front door. He later learned that the woman's name was Digna Tirado. Corcoran searched the rear bedroom, which apparently belonged to the two small children. On a shelf in the closet, he found a large brown paper bag containing twelve cylindrical objects wrapped in duct tape. Corcoran opened one cylinder, discovered brown powder, and exclaimed "Holy s---!" He heard a disturbance in the front of the apartment, and went to the living room where he saw defendant being forcibly subdued.

Officer Frank Goff testified that he and several other police officers approached 1741 North Cicero at about 9:30 p.m. on October 2, 1981. They knocked on the door to the first-floor apartment, announced themselves, heard activity inside, and forced the door open. Goff stated that defendant was moving from the living room to the dining room when they entered; the police grabbed him and placed him on the couch. Detective Hamel stood watch over defendant, a Latin woman, and two small children while Goff searched the front bedroom. He saw a variety of both men's and women's clothing throughout the bedroom, and he found defendant's driver's license in the breast pocket of a black suitcoat with white pin stripes. Goff testified that he heard officers in the kitchen yelling that they had found a big bag, and at the same time he heard detective Hamel yell "Stop!" Goff saw defendant running toward the kitchen, and...

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