Assigned on Briefs April 2, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Tipton County No. 8805 J. Weber
Defendant, Keith Lamont Brown, appeals his conviction for the
delivery of 0.5 grams or more of cocaine for which he
received a sentence of twenty-five years as a persistent
offender. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the evidence
is insufficient to support his conviction. Upon reviewing the
record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Deslauriers, Covington, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Keith
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Mark E.
Davidson, District Attorney General; and Walt Freeland and
Jason Poyner, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
Appellee, State of Tennessee.
Everett Williams, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which Alan E. Glenn and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
EVERETT WILLIAMS, PRESIDING JUDGE
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Defendant was convicted of the delivery of more than 0.5
grams of cocaine as the result of a controlled buy with a
confidential informant for the Twenty-Fifth Judicial District
Drug Task Force in Covington, Tennessee, on February 25,
2016. Investigator Randal Robbins testified that Mr. Sean
Browder, the confidential informant, contacted him and
identified the Defendant as someone from whom he could
purchase drugs. Investigator Robbins and Officer Tony Doss
met with Mr. Browder prior to the drug transaction.
Investigator Robbins patted down Mr. Browder and had Mr.
Browder empty his pockets and turn them inside out.
Investigator Robbins placed an audio/video recording device
on Mr. Browder's person and gave him $150 in bills with
recorded serial numbers to purchase drugs.
Robbins testified that Mr. Browder engaged in a text message
exchange with someone who was listed as "Key" in
Mr. Browder's cell phone. Investigator Robbins stated
that the Defendant was known as "KiKi," and Officer
Doss testified that he was aware that the telephone number to
which Mr. Browder sent text messages belonged to the
Defendant. Mr. Browder sent the first text message to the
Defendant at 2:17 p.m., and the final text message from the
Defendant was received at 4:27 p.m. and stated, "My boy
is meeting you. He's there." The drug transaction
occurred within five minutes of the final text message. Mr.
Browder sent screenshots of his text message exchange with
the Defendant to Investigator Robbins.
Robbins stated that the Defendant chose the location of the
drug transaction and directed Mr. Browder to multiple
locations before the drug transaction occurred. Investigator
Robbins explained that drug dealers often conduct
"counter surveillance" by instructing a buyer to go
to multiple locations while someone who works for the dealer
watches to ensure no one is following the buyer. Mr. Browder
was walking down Highway 51 during a portion of the text
message exchange with the Defendant, and Investigator Robbins
and Officer Doss were able to maintain visual surveillance of
Mr. Browder. However, the officers were unable to maintain
visual surveillance of Mr. Browder once he began walking in a
residential area. Investigator Robbins maintained contact
with Mr. Browder through text messages and telephone
p.m., Mr. Browder sent Investigator Robbins a text message,
stating that the Defendant wanted to meet at Mr.
Browder's home. Mr. Browder told Investigator Robbins
that the Defendant refused to meet in a public setting.
Investigator Robbins feared that the battery to the
audio/visual recording device attached to Mr. Browder was
low, so he met with Mr. Browder to replace the recording
device. Shortly after Investigator Robbins replaced the
recording device, Mr. Browder contacted him and stated that
the Defendant was sending someone to complete the
transaction. Investigator Robbins testified that to avoid
arrest, drug dealers often have others perform the "leg
video recording of the transaction showed a white sport
utility vehicle with two people inside drive up beside Mr.
Browder, the passenger hand Mr. Browder an item in clear
wrapping while Mr. Browder gave the passenger the money, and
the vehicle drive away. Shortly after the transaction,
Investigator Robbins met with Mr. Browder, who turned over
the drugs that he had purchased. Investigator Robbins
described the drugs as "a white, chalky-like
substance" wrapped in cellophane. A field test of the
substance indicated that the drugs were cocaine based. The
drugs were sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
("TBI") for ...