This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).






State of Minnesota,





Jeremy Douglas Brandt,



Filed June 13, 2006


Worke, Judge


LeSueur County District Court

File No. K0-04-295


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN  55101; and


Brent Christan, LeSueur County Attorney, Jason L. Moran, Assistant County Attorney, 65 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 156, Le Center, MN 56057 (for respondent)


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Rochelle R. Winn, Assistant Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue SE, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Hudson, Judge; and Worke, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

WORKE, Judge

          On appeal from a conviction of second-degree controlled-substance offense, appellant argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because (1) the testimony of an informant who set up a controlled buy in exchange for a reduction in his charges was not credible; (2) the testimony of a jailhouse informant was not credible; and (3) the controlled buy was inadequately monitored.  We affirm.


Appellant Jeremy Douglas Brandt argues that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction.  In considering a claim challenging the sufficiency of the evidence, our role “is limited to a painstaking analysis of the record to determine whether the evidence, when viewed in a light most favorable to the conviction, was sufficient to permit the jurors to reach the verdict which they did.”  State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989).

 This court’s review includes an analysis of the facts presented and the inferences the jury could reasonably draw from those facts.  State v. Robinson, 604 N.W.2d 355, 366 (Minn. 2000).  “[B]ecause weighing the credibility of witnesses is the exclusive function of the jury[,]” State v. Pieschke, 295 N.W.2d 580, 584 (Minn. 1980), this court assumes that the jury believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved contrary evidence.  State v. Moore, 438 N.W.2d 101, 108 (Minn. 1989).  Therefore, we will not disturb the verdict if the jury, acting with due regard for the presumption of innocence and the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, reasonably could conclude that the defendant was guilty of the charged offense.  State v. Olhausen, 681 N.W.2d 21, 25-26 (Minn. 2004).   

            Appellant concedes that the fact-finder determines whom to believe, but argues that the testimony of two informants was insufficient to support the jury’s verdict.  Here, R.K. was facing charges for manufacturing methamphetamine when he told officers that appellant was selling methamphetamine.  R.K. testified that he received a “break” by cooperating with the officers.  Following his arrest, appellant shared a jail cell with L.D. who was also being held on a drug charge.  L.D. informed officers that appellant confessed to selling drugs to R.K.  L.D. testified that he attempted to secure a deal, but did not; ultimately pleading guilty to one charge, in exchange for the state dismissing a second charge.  

            Appellant testified that he did not sell drugs to R.K. and that R.K. merely visited him to talk and repay appellant the money that he owed him.  Appellant further testified that he kept a copy of the complaint in his cell and discussed it with L.D., which is how L.D. knew the details of his case.  A jury is free to disbelieve a defendant’s reasonable alternative explanations of what occurred.  State v. Collard,414 N.W.2d 733, 736 (Minn. App. 1987), review denied (Minn. Jan. 15, 1988).  Apparently the jury disbelieved appellant’s testimony, and we must credit that finding.  State v. Folkers,581 N.W.2d 321, 327 (Minn. 1998) (noting that it is the exclusive province of the jury to determine the weight and credibility to be afforded the testimony of each witness).  Additionally, another witness testified that he was in appellant’s trailer the day that R.K. delivered the cash and assumed that R.K. was purchasing drugs.  This witness also testified that on the day the officers searched appellant’s trailer, he observed a baggie in the trailer containing marijuana and baggies containing white powder that he assumed was drugs.  Appellant offers no evidence that would render the informants’ testimony unreliable, other than the fact that R.K. received a deal and appellant’s contention that L.D. received a deal.  But the jury heard R.K. admit to receiving a deal; and L.D. testified that he did not receive a deal.  Under the applicable standard of review, we must assume that the jury believed the informants.  See Moore,438 N.W.2d at 108 (stating that we assume that “the jury believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved any evidence to the contrary”).

Appellant also argues that the informants’ testimony required corroboration because both had reasons to fabricate stories.  But under Minnesota law, only accomplice testimony must be corroborated.  See Minn. Stat. § 634.04 (2002) (“A conviction cannot be had upon the testimony of an accomplice, unless it is corroborated by such other evidence as tends to convict the defendant of the commission of the offense[.]” (emphasis added)).  Thus, the informants’ testimony did not require corroboration. 

            Appellant next argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction because the officers failed to adequately monitor the controlled buy.  Appellant contends that officers never saw R.K. enter appellant’s trailer to deliver the money.  It is true that officers did not observe R.K. go into appellant’s trailer, but R.K. testified that he gave appellant money, a witness testified that he saw R.K. give appellant money, and appellant admitted that he received money from R.K.  Appellant asserts that there was no surveillance of R.K. after he left appellant’s trailer and that R.K. could have hidden the money after leaving the trailer.  While this is possible, R.K. was searched, and the officers found no large amounts of cash on him.  Further, the jury heard no testimony that R.K. hid the money, and it is undisputed that appellant received money from R.K. 

            Appellant also suggests that because officers did not see R.K. enter appellant’s trailer, R.K. could have stashed the drugs and retrieved them before he met with appellant.  The day of the controlled buy, R.K. went to appellant’s trailer, but was told to come back later.  An officer watched R.K. play basketball and then walk back toward appellant’s trailer.  The officer was unable to see R.K. enter appellant’s trailer, but after R.K. signaled that the sale was complete, he was back in the officer’s sight within a minute.  R.K. delivered a baggie that contained a white crystal-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine.  “A person is guilty of controlled substance crime in the second degree if: (1) on one or more occasions within a 90-day period the person unlawfully sells one or more mixtures of a total weight of three grams or more containing . . . methamphetamine[.]”  Minn. Stat. § 152.022, subd. 1 (1) (2002).  A witness testified that he saw baggies containing a white substance in appellant’s trailer, and R.K. delivered a baggie containing a white substance.  Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the conviction, the record supports the jury’s verdict.