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State v. Garcia

Decided: April 26, 1971.

THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RAFAEL GARCIA, DEFENDANT



Barger, J.s.c.

Barger

[114 NJSuper Page 445] This is an application by the State for an order forfeiting title to a motor vehicle truck, being a 1968 Dodge, Model D-200, Serial No. 1281822629, to the County of Union under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 24:18-38.1, 38.2 and 38.3. The application is before the court on notice of motion, with proofs attached, and served upon defendant's attorney. In furtherance thereof the court fixed

a date for a hearing, at which time the court was informed there would be a stipulation of facts. Consequently, no testimony was taken and the court heard legal argument. R. 1:6-1 et seq.

Defendant was indicted for possession of a substantial quantity of marijuana, a violation of N.J.S.A. 24:18-4. He retracted his plea of not guilty, pleaded guilty, and was thereafter sentenced on March 26, 1970. As indicated in the stipulation of facts, the amount of marijuana involved, a part of which was found in a false bottom of the truck, was sizable, creating an inference that defendant in the use of the vehicle described was engaged in the trucking of this prohibited drug.

The following facts are stipulated by the State and defendant:

On December 10, 1969, the Linden Fire and Police Departments responded to a fire in a frame dwelling at No. 40 West Elizabeth Avenue, Linden, New Jersey, which was occupied by defendant, Rafael Garcia, and his family.

While the fire was being extinguished, a large quantity of marijuana was discovered in the dwelling. Another quantity of marijuana was discovered in a false bottom of a pickup truck parked behind the dwelling. Photographs showing the false bottom and its contents have been presented to the Court.

The truck is described as being a 1968 Dodge bearing Arizona registration plate JC-1290, and owned by the defendant, Rafael Garcia, with no liens thereon.

The total weight of the marijuana was 399 pounds.

The defendant was indicted for the possession of the marijuana, to which he pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

Subsequently, the State moved, on notice to defendant, for forfeiture of the truck.

The State's proofs indicate that there are no other suits or proceedings pending and undetermined in any court of competent jurisdiction seeking a recovery or return of the property concerned. This is required by N.J.S.A. 24:18-38.3.

The property was seized by the County of Union as the result of defendant's arrest and has since ...


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