On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Somerset County.
Approved for Publication February 29, 1996.
Before Judges Michels, Baime, and Kimmelman. The opinion of the court was delivered by Kimmelman, J.A.D. (temporarily assigned).
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kimmelman
The opinion of the court was delivered by
KIMMELMAN, J.A.D. (temporarily assigned).
Defendant Steven Kadonsky appeals from his unconditional plea of guilty, entered pursuant to a plea bargain agreement, to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3, the so-called "drug kingpin" statute. As required by the sentencing provision of that statute, the trial court sentenced defendant to life imprisonment with a twenty-five-year period of parole ineligibility. Sentences imposed on the other related charges and upon a related indictment were all directed to be concurrent to the main sentence. Defendant was also fined $500,000 and assessed the standard statutory penalties.
Defendant seeks a reversal of his conviction and sentence on the following grounds set forth in his brief:
POINT I. THE SANCTION PROVIDED WITHIN 2C:25-3 IF APPLIED TO A MARIJUANA TRAFFICKER IS VIOLATIVE OF THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT PROSCRIPTION AGAINST DISPROPORTIONATE PUNISHMENT.
ii. THE STATUTE WAS NOT INTENDED TO ENCOMPASS MARIJUANA TRAFFICKING OF THE SORT AT ISSUE HEREIN.
iii. THE STATUTE VIOLATES THE PRINCIPLE OF PROPORTIONALITY IF APPLIED TO MARIJUANA IN UNSPECIFIED AMOUNTS AND WITHOUT REGARD TO WHETHER ACTIVITIES WERE STRICTLY UNCONSUMMATED AND CONSPIRATORIAL.
POINT II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN RELIEVING THE STATE OF ITS BURDEN OF DEMONSTRATING THE REASONABLENESS OF THE WARRANTLESS SEARCH.
POINT III. APPELLANT WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS BY VIRTUE OF THE COURT'S ACCEPTANCE OF A GUILTY PLEA ABSENT AN ADEQUATE FACTUAL BASIS (Not Raised Below).
Although it would appear that defendant has waived his rights to challenge the statute and his sentence by virtue of his unconditional guilty plea, R. 3:9-3(f), we have nevertheless considered these contentions, the record, and all of the supporting arguments and find they are without merit and require only the Discussion that follows. R. 2:11-3(e)(2).
The "drug kingpin" statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3, was found to be constitutional and not impermissibly vague in State v. Afanador, 1 ...