Supreme Court throws out drug convictions

By Randall Chase, Associated Press 2:39pm, May 1, 2013
The state Supreme Court has thrown out a Wilmington man's drug trafficking convictions, saying they violated the constitutional "double jeopardy" prohibition against being tried twice for the same offense.

Raymond Blake was charged in 2011 with trafficking in heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin, trafficking in cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and maintaining a vehicle for keeping drugs.

Prosecutors dropped the heroin trafficking charge, and the jury could not agree on the cocaine trafficking charge. Blake was convicted of the lesser-included offenses of possession of cocaine and possession of heroin.

Prosecutors then re-indicted Blake on both trafficking charges.

But the Supreme Court ruled this week that Blake's convictions on those charges were invalid because he previously had been found guilty of possession based on the same conduct.

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