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State v. Carangelo

Decided: February 28, 1977.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES V. CARANGELO, PAUL A. NESE, JR., MICHAEL H. NEWELL, JOSEPH P. PASZEK, RONALD A. SEVERINI, DONALD J. O'HARE, A. J. PAGANO, ALBERT P. SCALIA, HELEN SCALIA, DEFENDANTS



Calissi, J.s.c.

Calissi

The Hudson County grand jury returned Indictment 503 of the 1973 term charging 14 defendants with Conspiracy to violate the gambling laws of the State of New Jersey as well as the violation of substantive provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:121-3.*fn1

Defendant O'Hare, a patron at the Hotsy Totsy tavern in Jersey City, was arrested on October 16, 1973 during a raid conducted by the members of the Jersey City and Bayonne Police Departments, pursuant to the execution of

a search warrant. O'Hare duly filed within time, R. 3:5-7, a motion to suppress evidence -- football lottery slips -- seized from his person and found in a brown paper bag on the floor area adjacent to him. He contended that the warrant authorizing the search of the tavern and any person present was a general warrant, in violation of the mandate of the Fourth Amendment and N.J. Const. (1947), Art. I, par. 7, and the recent holding of State v. Riggins , 138 N.J. Super. 497 (Law Div. 1976).

Defendants Newell, Paszek, Severini and Carangelo, although not filing motions to suppress within the time set forth in R. 3:5-7, were permitted to join in the argument, good cause having been shown for the delay. They contended that the warrantless searches of their respective motor vehicles were unreasonable and illegal in violation of their constitutional rights.

Albert Scalia and Helen Scalia, in support of their duly filed motion to suppress the evidence, contended that the search warrant for the premises of the Hotsy Totsy Club was not executed within the time specified in the warrant, i.e. , between 7 and 10 P.M., and for that reason it was without legal force or effect.

Defendant Pagano claimed that the warrant authorizing the search of his dwelling at 96 Evergreen Street, Bayonne, N.J., was executed 54 minutes after the time therein specified and for that reason the evidence recovered should be suppressed.

Detective John Cassidy, Patrolman John McDonald and Sergeant Edward Bennett, members of the Jersey City Police Department, testified on behalf of the State. The evidence described a gambling investigation conducted over a period of 1 1/2 months in a joint effort by Jersey City and Bayonne police officials, which investigation culminated in the arrests of the defendants.

Detective Cassidy and a member of the Bayonne Police Department were strategically stationed on the roof of a three-story building across the street from the Hotsy Totsy

where, with the aid of binoculars, they were able to observe persons entering and leaving the tavern. During the period of roof surveillance which began at 7:30 P.M., and continued until about 12:30 A.M. on October 16, 1973, an undercover Bayonne police officer was operating inside the tavern. The officers on the roof had been informed by the Bayonne police officer, working incognito, how the illegal football lottery slips would be taken from the Hotsy Totsy in brown paper packages.

At 9:45 P.M. Detective Cassidy was informed by radio communication of the arrest of Carl Nese whom Cassidy had earlier observed leaving the tavern carrying a brown paper package. Nese's automobile had been spotted in prior surveillances and a search warrant had been obtained for it. The arresting officers notified Cassidy that the package found in Nese's car contained illegal football slips. At about 9:50 P.M. James Carangelo and Joseph Paszek were seen exiting the tavern, carrying what looked like a brown paper package. The undercover officer, a few steps behind, took out a white handkerchief and as per a prearranged signal placed it on his nose. That gesture indicated that the brown paper package being carried out of the tavern contained illegal football lottery slips. Carangelo and Paszek proceeded to an automobile which both entered. Carangelo drove. By two-way radio the information was relayed to ...


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