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Name: People v. Vega
Case #: B171051
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 06/14/2005
Subsequent History: rvw. den. 9/21/05

Appellant was convicted of conspiracy to transport cocaine for sale. The jury found the weight of the cocaine to exceed 40 kilograms, thereby making appellant eligible for an additional 20 years consecutive to his prison term. On appeal, he argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s findings because the criminalist did not weigh each brick (of 42) of cocaine, but instead weighed eight of the bricks (of like size), and multiplied. The appellate court disagreed, finding that the evidence justified the jury’s findings as to the weight of the cocaine. However, the result would have been different had the defendant objected to the criminalist’s testimony as lacking a sufficient scientific basis.