On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Cumberland County.
Dreier, Gruccio and Brochin. The opinion of the court was delivered by Brochin, J.A.D.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
Defendant Darryl Doss was indicted for third degree possession of cocaine contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10. Claiming that he had been illegally searched and arrested, he moved before trial to prevent the State from introducing into evidence cocaine which he asserted was the product of the unlawful search. His motion was denied and he pleaded guilty in accordance with a
plea agreement. Consistently with that agreement, he was sentenced to one year of probation conditioned on ninety-two days in the county jail. A $1000 D.E.D.R. penalty, a $50 laboratory fee, and a $30 V.C.C.B. penalty were also imposed, and his driver's license was revoked for six months.
Defendant appeals from the denial of his motion to suppress evidence and also from the court's refusal to consider his application for admission to the pretrial intervention program.
In the Amity Heights Housing Projects in South Bridgeton, New Jersey, there is a portion of a parking area, known as the "wall," where groups of people congregate at all hours of the day and night. Drug trafficking is known to be prevalent there.
At about 11:30 p.m. on November 29, Detective Robert Parks, a narcotics investigator for the Bridgeton Police Department, and several other police officers, all in an unmarked police car and in civilian clothes, drove into the parking area near the "wall." Although the weather was cold, a group of twenty or more persons had gathered there. The vehicle was recognized as a police car and some of the persons in the crowd yelled a warning that the police were coming. Four or five persons broke away from the crowd and ran.
One of the persons who ran away was later identified as the defendant. Detective Parks and another policeman followed defendant in their police car until he ran into an alley. When defendant entered the alley, Detective Parks and the other policeman got out of the car and ran after him on foot. The detective yelled, "Police, stop!" two or three times, but the defendant continued his flight. As the defendant ran into a lighted area, Detective Parks recognized him as someone whom he had seen in the project on previous occasions conversing with convicted drug dealers.
Defendant tripped and fell as he ran. Detective Parks and the other police officer caught up with ...