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State v. Medero

Decided: May 26, 1967.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JESUS MEDERO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Conford, Foley and Leonard. The opinion of the court was delivered by Leonard, J.A.D.

Leonard

Defendant appeals from a judgment of conviction of selling lottery tickets (N.J.S. 2A:121-1), possessing lottery slips (N.J.S. 2A:121-3(b)), and keeping a place to which persons might resort for gambling (N.J.S. 2A:112-3), entered after a jury trial.

I

Defendant first asserts that the search warrant here involved is invalid in that (1) it was erroneous in its specific description of the particular area to be searched, and (2) there was no representation as to the reliability of the "informants" upon whose information the supporting affidavit was based.

We consider ground (1). The warrant designated the premises known as:

"Mederos Grocery, 122 East 4th St., Lakewood, N.J. and more particularly described as follows: the first floor, the second floor and cellar of a two-story building on the South side of East 4th St., Lakewood, N.J. immediately adjacent to and on the East Side of 121 club * * *."

Defendant argues that the premises that were actually searched were known as 120 East Fourth Street and were not known as 122.

The evidence discloses that although the premises where defendant operated his grocery originally had been two separate stores (120 and 122), nevertheless at the time of the raid and for some time prior thereto, they were operated as one, divided only by a partial partition. Although the individual doors to each store remained, the door to 120 had been completely blocked off by groceries for several months and since then the sole access to the combined premises was through the door at 122.

Defendant's argument on this point is without merit. The premises were quite thoroughly and specifically described, with the possible exception of the number. Even in that respect

the use of the number set forth in the warrant was justified. In all events, the description used was sufficient. State v. Daniels, 46 N.J. 428, 435-438 (1966). State v. Ratushny, 82 N.J. Super. 499 (App. Div. 1964), is not applicable to the circumstances here present.

We consider next defendant's additional attack on the search warrant: the insufficiency of the supporting affidavit. This affidavit was executed by Lieutenant Belitrand and therein he set forth that one of the facts, among others, that "establish the ground" for the application of the issuance of the search warrant and "the probable cause" of his belief that there was located in the described premises certain property or other paraphernalia used in connection with a lottery was: "A. I have been advised by known reliable informants that lottery bets are being placed at Jesus Medero's store, 122 East Fourth St., Lakewood, N.J."

Defendant, relying upon State v. Ratushny, supra, 82 N.J. Super., at pp. 503-504, argues that the affidavit is defective because "there is no representation as to the reliability of the informer" contained therein and because it does not contain "a good faith representation by the police that there is good reason to believe the statement of the ...


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