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State v. Southard

Decided: March 3, 1976.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOHN L. SOUTHARD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Lynch, Larner and Horn. The opinion of the court was delivered by Larner, J.A.D.

Larner

[144 NJSuper Page 502] This appeal involves the sufficiency of an affidavit underlying the issuance of a search warrant.

The trial judge denied the motion to suppress. After a jury trial defendant was convicted of one count in the indictment which charged him with possession of a stolen tractor, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2A:139-3. The judge thereafter imposed a suspended prison sentence of 2-3 years in State Prison and a fine of $1,000.

The affidavit executed by a detective of the New Jersey State Police recited that

2. I have good reason to believe and do believe that in and upon the below listed premises there has been and is now being stored the stolen property to wit:

a. One Mack Tractor, 1972, serial #R685ST27465

b. And other property believed to be stolen in violation of NJS 2A:139-1.

The premises were described as the plant, buildings and surrounding area occupied by Whippany Paper Board Company on Parsippany Road in Whippany, New Jersey, which area "is used by J.L. Southard to park his tractors when the same are not in use by him."

The portion of the affidavit which is most significant on this appeal merits reproduction:

3. B. Information was received by me Detective Emil Moaba #1542 of the New Jersey State Police, from a reliable informant, who in the past has given me information which has resulted in the arrest and convictions of persons involved in criminal activities, and the recovery of stolen property valued in the thousands of dollars.

C. On August 9, 1972, my informant had advised me that he has personal knowledge that located in the aforementioned and described locations there is now being stored, and used, the vehicle in question and other property believed to be stolen. My informant also advises that the vehicle in question is in the possession of John L. Southard, 124 Wilson Place, Whippany, Morris County, New Jersey, owner of J.L. Southard Incorporated, of Whippany, N.J.

D. On August 21, and 22, 1972, accompanied by my informant, I visited both of the aforementioned premises. I observed several vehicles belonging to J.L. Southard Incorporated being used to haul freight between the aforementioned plants of the Whippany Paper Board Company. I also observed vehicles owned by J.L. Southard parked behind and in the area of the ...


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