Decided: December 10, 1991.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
DEXTER TYRONE HALL, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT
On appeal from Superior Court, Law Division, Union County, whose decision is reported at 253 N.J. Super. 84, 600 A.2d 1248.
Antell and Thomas.
State appeals from the trial court's order suppressing evidence and an incriminating statement made by defendant.
Defendant was encountered at an apartment for which a warrant had issued. The apartment located in a high crime area known for drug activity had been the subject of two controlled buys. Defendant and a companion entered the apartment during the course of the warranted search. When they saw the police activity, they tried to leave but were stopped and brought inside. Both were patted down. The pat-down revealed nothing on defendant's companion and he was allowed to leave. Defendant was not read his Miranda rights. Nevertheless, while defendant was being patted down, the police officer asked if he had anything on him. Defendant said he had some stuff for personal use and produced a dollar bill containing a small amount of cocaine. Defendant was arrested.
Judge Wecker, in a carefully written opinion, ruled that the recovered cocaine must be suppressed, finding its discovery was the result of an illegal search. We affirm based upon the trial judge's opinion.