Hall Superior Court found a defendant guilty of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, criminal attempt to commit the sale of cocaine, and use of a communication facility in facilitating a commission of a felony criminal act. The defendant appealed, believing that the State should have identified its confidential informant because he was “a participant-informer and not a mere tipster.”
Georgia’s Court of Appeals reviewed the case and discovered that the informant initiated contact with an officer, explaining how he could obtain cocaine from the defendant. The officer told him to purchase two ounces of cocaine and listened to the phone conversation of the sale between the defendant and the informant. Some officers accompanied the informant to the exchange, listened to another phone conversation for the exact meeting place, and then the informant identified the defendant as the person with whom he spoke on the phone to the police when they met. The officers found cocaine in the defendant’s possession and arrested him.
The Court agreed with the defendant that the informant should have been construed as a participant-informer. His involvement led to the defendant’s convictions of criminal attempt to commit the sale of cocaine and use of a communication facility in facilitating a commission of a felony criminal act. The defendant, however, also needed to produce evidence of entrapment and show that the informant’s testimony would have helped his defense so that the trial court would have permitted a taped interview from the informant.
The Court of Appeals determined that the trial court was correct in keeping the identity of the informant confidential and supported the court’s convictions.