Motion to Disclose Identity of Confidential Informant.
J. DiLiberto, Deputy Attorney General Department of Justice
J. Maurer, Jr., Esquire Christina L. Ruggiero, Esquire
Charles E. Butler Judge
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.
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
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.
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."
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