On appeal from the Chancery Division, Family Part, Camden County.
Deighan, R.s. Cohen and Brochin. The opinion of the court was delivered by R.s. Cohen, J.A.D.
The Family Part adjudicated L.Q. to be a juvenile delinquent for possessing cocaine, and imposed a three-year probationary term. L.Q. appealed, arguing that his motion to suppress should have been granted because the evidence against him was illegally seized. We disagree, and therefore affirm.
A search warrant was issued to search a residence at 331 Grant Street, Camden, and "all persons found therein reasonably believed to be connected with the said property and investigation." The warrant was issued on the strength of the affidavit of Anthony Galiazzi, a Camden Detective with long experience in drug investigations and prosecutions. Galiazzi stated that a reliable confidential source told him that an Hispanic woman was selling cocaine from inside a residence located at 331 Grant Street. Galiazzi "established a sporadic surveillance" of the house:
During these periods of observation, numerous persons were seen as they approached the front of the residence, knocked on the front door and entered inside. These persons would usually stay for a short period of time, then exit the residence and leave the area. It has been the experience of the undersigned the number of people going and coming from the house is typical of locations where narcotics are being illegally sold.
Galiazzi then set up a successful controlled cocaine purchase at the house. He asked for a warrant authorizing a search between 8:00 a.m. and midnight, the hours when, he said, cocaine sales took place. He also asked for a "no-knock" warrant because
"[l]ook-outs" are used in the neighborhood to warn of police activity in the area. This was observed by the undersigned during my surveillance.
Police reports revealed that officers who executed the warrant in the mid-afternoon found an Hispanic woman and a man in the house. Small quantities of apparent cocaine were found, not on their persons, but in two different rooms. Then L.Q. entered the house. A report completed eight months after the incident said L.Q. tried to leave when he saw the police but was stopped. A search of a bag L.Q. was carrying turned up seven small packages of cocaine.
With the motion to suppress were submitted the warrant, the affidavit of Detective Galiazzi, and the police reports. Neither side offered testimony or other evidence. The judge held that the State had demonstrated probable cause, in its warrant application, sufficient to justify searching not only the house but also L.Q.
This case presents the problem of the lawfulness of a warrant to search unnamed persons who are already present or who arrive during the search of a place. The New Jersey Supreme Court addressed the problem in State v. Sims, 75 N.J. 337 (1978) and State v. DeSimone, 60 N.J. 319 (1972). In DeSimone, warrants were issued to search six automobiles on the thesis that they were being used to transport and collect illegal lottery slips. The warrants directed a search of the cars "and persons found therein." The Supreme Court concluded
that there was sufficient cause shown to believe that anyone found in the car was involved ...