On appeal from Superior Court, Law Division, Essex County.
King, Gruccio and Brochin. The opinion of the court was delivered by Gruccio, J.A.D.
The Opinion of the court was delivered by
This appeal involves a single narcotics transaction which was observed by police from a hidden surveillance point. The location of the surveillance point was the subject of a Rules of Evid., Rule 8 hearing which was held upon the State's motion for a protective order. The trial Judge determined that disclosure of the vantage point was not necessary. We affirm.
Following a jury trial, defendant Matteo Garcia was convicted of conspiracy, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 (count one); possession of heroin,
N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) (count two);*fn1 possession of heroin with intent to distribute in the third degree, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3) (count three); and possession of heroin with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of school property in the third degree, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (count four).
Defendant was tried to a jury. Prior to trial, the State moved, pursuant to Rule 3:13-3d(1), for a protective order concerning the location of a police surveillance point. After an in camera hearing, the Judge granted the motion.
Defendant's motion for a new trial was denied and defendant was sentenced on count three to a five-year term. A $30 Violent Crimes Compensation Board penalty and a $1,000 Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction penalty were also imposed. On count four, defendant was sentenced to a concurrent five-year term, with a three-year period of parole ineligibility. A $30 Violent Crimes Compensation Board penalty, a $50 lab fee, a $1,000 Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction penalty and a 24-month driver's license suspension were also imposed.*fn2
On appeal, defendant contends:
1. The trial court violated defendant's constitutional rights to confrontation and due process by prohibiting disclosure of the vantage point from which the police claimed to have observed him engaged in a narcotics transaction.
2. The trial court violated the rules of discovery to defendant's prejudice by permitting the State's expert witness to testify without prior advice of his name or the substance of his testimony.
3. The trial court further violated defendant's constitutional right to confrontation by precluding cross-examination of the State's expert witness concerning
variations on the hypothetical posed and his opinions rendered ...