State v. Mendoza. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-07-0811, 20 pp.) (Martha A. Geer, J.) Appealed from Wayne County Superior Court. (James Floyd Ammons Jr., J.) N.C. App.
Holding: Even though the trial court improperly allowed the state to present evidence of defendant’s silence both before and after he was given his Miranda warnings, the erroneous admissions did not amount to plain error. After a single-car accident, a total of 339.3 grams of cocaine was found in defendant’s car. The cocaine was in two plastic bags lying on the back seat, as well as in several plastic bags inside a cooler on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat. Since Trooper Davis was able to easily spot the two bags lying on the back seat, a jury would likely conclude that defendant must have known the bags were there.
No error in defendant’s conviction of trafficking in cocaine by possession and trafficking in cocaine by transportation.