Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Bossier, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 199,853. Honorable Michael O. Craig, Judge.
CAREY J. ELLIS, III, Louisiana Appellate Project, Counsel for Appellant.
J. SCHUYLER MARVIN, District Attorney, JOHN M. LAWRENCE, LANE PITTARD, ALEXANDRA AIELLO, Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for Appellee.
Before CARAWAY, GARRETT and LOLLEY, JJ.
[49,642 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] CARAWAY, J.
Following a jury trial, Kevin O'Brien Allen was convicted of two counts of distribution of marijuana, in violation of La. R.S. 40:966(A), and was subsequently sentenced to concurrent 10-year hard labor terms on each count, to run consecutively with any other sentence. Allen appeals his sentences. We affirm.
On June 14, 2013, Kevin O'Brien Allen was charged by bill of information with two counts of distribution of marijuana, after he made two sales of marijuana to a confidential informant on December 27, 2012, and March 13, 2013.
The testimony at trial established that in conjunction with the Bossier Parish Narcotics Task Force, a confidential informant, equipped with video and audio equipment and money for the purchase of marijuana, met with Allen on two occasions. After constant surveillance by narcotics task force officers on each transaction, the confidential informant returned with marijuana. Although the videos of the undercover operations did not show hand-to-hand drug transactions, the confidential informant told task force officers that he did in fact purchase the marijuana from Allen. Lab analysis confirmed that the substance received by the officers, and submitted into evidence at trial, was marijuana.
Allen denied selling marijuana to the confidential informant on either occasion and concluded that the drugs were in the confidential informant's vehicle. By an 11-1 vote, a jury found Allen guilty as charged.
[49,642 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] At the sentencing hearing, the trial court considered the facts of this case, the presentence investigation (" PSI" ) report, and the sentencing guidelines set forth in La. C.Cr.P. art. 894.1. Upon review of the PSI, the trial court concluded that it was difficult to find any mitigating factors in Allen's favor. The court noted Allen's extensive criminal history which qualified him as a fourth felony offender, specifically noting Allen's significant drug history, largely involving marijuana, since 2001. Allen's record included convictions for simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and possession of marijuana in 2001. For a 2004 conviction of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, Allen received a suspended 5-year hard labor sentence but had his probation revoked. In 2007, he was convicted of possession of marijuana, second offense, and in 2009, he was convicted of felony possession of marijuana. He had subsequent ...