State v. Ellis

In State v. Ellis, 161 W. Va. 40, 239 S.E.2d 670 (W. Va. 1977), the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals interpreted "constructive transfer" to mean "the transfer of a controlled substance either belonging to an individual or under his control by some other person or agency at the instance or direction of the individual accused of such a constructive transfer." The second was a Nebraska case in which the defendant instructed an undercover officer to retrieve the contraband from a wastebasket. Holding that the transaction in question was a "constructive transfer," the Supreme Court of Nebraska remarked: "it is not necessary for the State to show actual physical transfer of a controlled substance from the defendant. The statutory definition of delivery clearly encompasses more than actual, direct transfers. It includes constructive and indirect transfers as well." The third was a New Mexico case where a controlled substance was mailed to the recipient. The New Mexico Court of Appeals held: "Placing the controlled substance in the mail had the effect of turning the controlled substance over to an agent for delivery. This amounts to a constructive transfer."