Submitted: July 9, 2018
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware, Cr. ID No.
STRINE, Chief Justice; SEITZ and TRAYNOR, Justices.
F. Traynor Justice
31st day of August 2018, upon consideration of the
appellant's Supreme Court Rule 26(c) brief, the
State's response, and the record below, it appears to the
September 7, 2017, a Superior Court jury found the appellant,
Sameen Harris, guilty of Drug Dealing and Driving Without a
License. After granting the State's motion to declare
Harris a habitual offender under 11 Del. C. §
4214(a), the Superior Court sentenced Harris as follows: (i)
for Drug Dealing, eight years of Level V incarceration,
suspended after three years of Level V incarceration and
completion of the Key program, followed by decreasing levels
of supervision; and (ii) for Driving Without a License, a
$100.00 fine. This is Harris's direct appeal.
trial, Delaware State Police Trooper Patrick McAndrew
testified that, on December 27, 2016, he was running radar in
his marked police car on Route 13 just south of Route 141.
Trooper McAndrew saw a white Dodge Charger traveling over the
speed limit and directed the driver of the car, Harris (who
was the only occupant of the car), to pull over. The police
car dashboard camera recorded the stop, and the video was
played at trial.
Trooper McAndrew approached the car and asked Harris for his
license, registration, and proof of insurance. Harris said
that the car was a rental and that he did not have a license
or insurance. While Trooper McAndrew was speaking with
Harris, he saw a blue-tinted container containing a green,
plant-like substance in plain view in the car. Based on his
experience, Trooper McAndrew believed the substance was
marijuana. Trooper McAndrew asked Harris about the container,
and he said it contained marijuana. Trooper McAndrew then
asked Harris if he had anything else on him. Harris initially
said no, but after he was asked to leave the car, he admitted
that he had lied and that he had pills.
Trooper McAndrew found two bottles with the prescription
labels removed in the car's passenger area. Each bottle
contained 58 oxycodone pills. Harris also had $997.00 in
cash, consisting mostly of $20.00 bills. Agent Jeremy Smith
of the Drug Enforcement Administration testified that the
removed labels, the amount of cash and the currency
denominations, and the use of a rental car were more
indicative of drug dealing than personal use of prescription
drugs. At the conclusion of the State's case, Counsel
asked that the charge of Driving While Suspended or Revoked
be reduced to Driving Without a License because the State
offered no evidence that Harris was driving with a suspended
or revoked license. The State agreed and the charge in the
indictment was amended to Driving Without a License.
Harris's girlfriend testified for the defense. She
testified that she and Harris were prescribed the oxycodone
pills that were found in the car after they were in a car
accident in November 2016. As a result of the accident, she
rented a car, which Harris was driving on December 27, 2016
to check on his mother.
According to Harris's girlfriend, she gave Harris $800
for a security deposit on a place to rent earlier in the day
of Harris's arrest, although on cross-examination she
could not recall where the rental unit was. She explained
that the pill bottles lacked labels because she had
accidentally broken the original bottles and put the pills in
new bottles without labels. Harris did not testify. The
Superior Court jury found the appellant Sameen Harris, guilty
of Drug Dealing and Driving Without a License. This appeal
appeal, Harris's counsel ("Counsel") filed a
brief and a motion to withdraw under Supreme Court Rule
26(c), asserting that, based upon a complete and careful
examination of the record, there are no arguably appealable
issues. Counsel informed Harris of the provisions of Rule
26(c) and provided Harris with a copy of the motion to
withdraw and the accompanying brief.
Counsel also informed Harris of his right to identify any
points he wished this Court to consider on appeal. Harris has
submitted several points for this Court's consideration.
The State has responded to the Rule 26(c) brief and has moved
to affirm the Superior Court's judgment.
When reviewing a motion to withdraw and an accompanying brief
under Rule 26(c), this Court must: (i) be satisfied that
defense counsel has made a conscientious examination of the
record and the law for arguable claims; and (ii) conduct its
own review of the record and determine whether the appeal is
so totally devoid of at ...