This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Juan Manuel Sevilla,
Filed June 26, 2007
Dakota County District Court
File No. K3-05-803
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800
James C. Backstrom, Dakota County Attorney, Kevin J. Golden, Assistant County Attorney, Dakota County Judicial Center, 1560 Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Sharon E. Jacks,
Assistant Public Defender,
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Ross, Judge; and Harten, Judge.
Appellant challenges his conviction of first-degree controlled substance crime, arguing that the district court erred by denying his motion for an in camera inquiry of the concerned citizen whose evidence led to appellant’s conviction. Because we see no error in the denial of the motion, we affirm.
In March 2005, a police investigator contacted a drug task force agent (DTFA) and stated that a “concerned citizen” (CC) known to the investigator wanted to meet to discuss drug activity. The CC provided his/her full name and date of birth but asked that identity be withheld for the safety of his/her family. The CC reported that a person living alone in an apartment was dealing large amounts of cocaine, that this person drove a white pickup, and that, within the previous 72 hours, two kilos of cocaine were in the apartment. The DTFA established the identity, residence, and vehicle of appellant Juan Sevilla. A drug detection dog then indicated the presence of narcotics within the apartment. Based on this information, the police obtained and executed a search warrant for the apartment. The police found more than 25 grams of cocaine in appellant’s apartment.
Appellant was charged with first-degree controlled substance crime. He moved for disclosure of the CC’s identity or for an in camera inquiry of the CC; the district court denied his motion. A jury found appellant guilty; he was sentenced to the presumptive 91 months’ imprisonment. He challenges his conviction, arguing that the district court erred in denying his motion for in camera inquiry of the CC.
D E C I S I O N
“All that is needed
to justify an in camera inquiry is a minimal showing of a basis for inquiry but
something more than mere speculation by the defendant that examination of the
informant might be helpful.” State v.
To obtain an in
camera inquiry, “[t]he defendant’s showing must be supported by the defendant’s
testimony or other evidence.” State v. Wessels, 424 N.W.2d 572, 575
(Minn. App. 1988), review denied
(Minn. 6 July 1988). In his motion for
disclosure, appellant indicated that “[t]he identity of the [CC] is needed to
show that additional information known by the police may not have been disclosed to the issuing magistrate.” (Emphasis
added). On appeal, he argues that “[i]f the officer knew [the CC], there is reason to believe that the
informant had a criminal record or was under investigation for a crime” and
that the informant was “possibly
involved with the alleged narcotics use and/or trade . . . .” (Emphasis added.)
This is not the “testimony or other
evidence” required by Wessels. See id.
It is rather the “mere speculation by the defendant that examination of
the informant might be helpful” that
Appellant relies on
State v. Luciow, 308
The district court did not err in denying appellant’s motion for an in camera inquiry of the CC.
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.
The police department criminalist who weighed the cocaine testified that its net weight was 192.2 grams.
 The only relief appellant seeks is remand for an in camera inquiry. We infer that the denial of an in camera inquiry is his only issue on appeal.