Cherokee County Superior Court convicted a man for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of morphine, and possession of oxycodone arising from a confidential informant’s tip. The informant had alerted a local drug enforcement task force that the defendant was selling marijuana from a house.
The tipster then performed three drug transactions for a task force agent, which enabled the agent to obtain a search warrant. Authorities then discovered marijuana, oxycodone, and morphine in the house and subsequently arrested the man.
The defendant believed that the trial court made a mistake in not revealing the informant, but the court had determined that the tipster only offered information and assistance to the task force and that his or her identity could be of no value to the defendant. Confidential informants typically have protection from being disclosed, but if a defendant can show that the informant has knowledge that will help his case, then the prosecution can reveal the tipster.
The defendant also felt that he should have been granted a new trial because of juror misconduct. Prosecution provided affidavits from all the members asserting that the juror’s behavior did not impact their decisions.
Georgia’s Court of Appeals reviewed the case and supported the trial court’s ruling. The Court determined that the trial court did not need to reveal the informant and that the juror misconduct did not bias the outcome.