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State v. Paturzzio

July 26, 1996

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
LISA M. PATURZZIO, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Ocean County.

Approved for Publication July 26, 1996. As Corrected August 5, 1996.

Before Judges Long, Brochin and Loftus. The opinion of the court was delivered by Loftus, J.A.D. Dissenting, Long, P.j.a.d.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Loftus

The opinion of the court was delivered by

LOFTUS, J.A.D.

The State of New Jersey appeals from an order of the Superior Court, Law Division, Ocean County granting the motion of defendant, Lisa Paturzzio (Paturzzio), to suppress drugs and other evidence obtained in a warrantless search.

On appeal, the State contends:

POINT I

THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO CONSIDER THE TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN ASSESSING THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE THROUGH CORROBORATION OF THE INFORMANT'S TIP.

POINT II

THE SEARCH OF DEFENDANT'S POCKETBOOK AT THE STATION WAS A LAWFUL SEARCH INCIDENT TO ARREST.

We have carefully reviewed the record and conclude that the State's contentions are meritorious. We reverse.

At the hearing on the motion to suppress, Investigator Thomas Wallace (Wallace) of the Ocean County Narcotics Strike Force testified. He had been a police officer with the Little Egg Harbor Police Department for eight years, and at the time of the hearing had been a member of the Ocean County Narcotics Task Force for almost two years.

On December 7, 1994, at 9:18 p.m., Wallace received a call from a confidential source which he had not utilized in the past. He believed that the source had either a criminal arrest pending or a criminal conviction. The confidential source advised him that Paturzzio was in the Mystic Islands area at a house occupied or rented by Anthony Manto and that Paturzzio was in possession of a large quantity of phencyclidine (PCP) and marijuana which she was distributing. The confidential source also advised that Paturzzio would be leaving the Manto residence shortly either on foot or in a vehicle operated by Gina DeFeo (DeFeo).

Wallace obtained a physical description of Paturzzio as well as a description of Paturzzio's clothing. The source advised that Paturzzio would have a black knapsack in her possession.

Wallace conducted a check with the Little Egg Harbor Township Police records which revealed that Anthony Manto was residing at 4-7 Cala Breeze Way in Mystic Islands. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on December 7, 1994, surveillance was established at that address. The surveillance was conducted by Wallace and Investigator Hammerle (Hammerle) of the Ocean County Narcotics ...


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