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State v. Jackson

Superior Court of Delaware

May 2, 2017

State
v.
Javon Jackson

         Defendant's Motion to Disclose Identity of Confidential Informant. GRANTED.

          Amanda J. DiLiberto, Deputy Attorney General Department of Justice

          Eugene J. Maurer, Jr., Esquire Christina L. Ruggiero, Esquire

          Charles E. Butler Judge

         Counsel:

         This dispute revolves around an aborted drug deal and almost stipulated facts. For reasons not clear to the Court, the parties cannot agree on what to do about the informant and so the Court will.

         The facts are fairly summarized by the State's response to the defendant's motion to reveal the identity of its confidential informant ("CI"):

On September 8, 2016, Officer Kashner of the Newport Police Department made contact with a Confidential Informant in reference to a drug investigation. Specifically, the CI informed Kashner that he could purchase a "log" of heroin from a Naesean McNeil.
In the presence of Kashner, the CI contacted (co)defendant McNeill by phone, and ordered on log of heroin for $200. Defendant McNeill advised the CI that he could meet him in approximately 10 minutes at the Burger King located at 300 South Maryland Avenue.
Kashner transported the CI to the Burger King. While at the Burger King, Kashner observed the CI take a phone call from Defendant McNeill. Kashner overheard Defendant McNeill informing the CI that he would be arriving in a black Cadillac. The CI advised defendant McNeill that he would be standing in front of the Burger King waiting.
At approximately 19:02 hours, Kashner and CPL Davidson of the Newport Police Department set up surveillance on the Burger King parking lot, keeping the CI in their direct line of sight. At approximately 19:30 hours, police observed a black Cadillac pull into the Burger King parking lot and drive to the front of the establishment where the CI was standing. When police observed the CI beginning to walk toward the Cadillac, they approached with their departmentally issued firearms drawn ordering its occupants to exit. Therefore, the planned drug transaction did not actually take place.[1]

         Defendant McNeill was seated in the front passenger seat. He had a log of heroin in his lap and $322 in U.S. currency in his hand. Defendant Jackson was empty handed, had nothing in his lap, but police did recover a second log of heroin in the door well on the driver's side door and a third log inside the center console of the vehicle.

         Jackson has moved the Court for an order to disclose the identity of the CI, even as he takes no substantial issue with the State's recitation above. According to Jackson, the CI dealt exclusively with the codefendant McNeill and the CI has no testimony or evidence to give that would in any way implicate Defendant Jackson. The State says as much in its recitation above and indeed, at the preliminary hearing, there was testimony that when a cell phone was recovered from McNeill, it was the same number called by the CI and witnessed by the police officer. In response to the motion to disclose the identity of the informant, the State says "the standard is whether the CI's testimony would materially aid the defense, and the State submits that, in this case, it would not."[2]

         D.R.E. 509 provides the general rule of privilege to the government allowing it to refuse to identify an informant "who has furnished information to or assisted in an investigation into a possible violation of a law." Rule 509(c) however, states that "No privilege exists under this rule if the identity of the informer or his interest in the subject matter of his communication has been disclosed to those who would have cause to resent the communication by a holder of the ...


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