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State v. Gibson

January 21, 1999

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RONALD GIBSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Before Judges Stern, Landau and Braithwaite.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stern, P.j.a.d.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 6, 1999

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

The opinion of the court was delivered by

Defendant was indicted for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, "cocaine and/or heroin," N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) (count two), possession of a controlled dangerous substance, "heroin and/or cocaine," with the intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3) (count three), and conspiracy to commit the crime of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 (count four). Co- defendant, Angela M. Traymon, was charged in count one with possession of cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1). She was also named in count four.

After denial of his motion to suppress, defendant was tried to a jury and found guilty on counts two and three. A judgment of acquittal was entered on count four at the end of the State's case. Defendant was sentenced to concurrent five year probationary terms on counts two and three. The Judge also imposed a V.C.C.B. penalty of $50, a S.N.S.F. assessment of $75 and a D.E.D.R. penalty of $1,000 on each count.

Defendant appeals and argues:

POINT I The Court Erred In Denying Defendant's Motion To Suppress.

(A) Detective Cassidy Did Not Have an Articulable Suspicion To Enter Upon Private Property To Question The Defendant And His Subsequent Seizure Of The Evidence Was Illegal.

(B) The Court Abused Its Discretion In Applying The Concept Of "Abandonment" To The Facts Of This Case.

(C) Detective Cassidy Used His Flashlight To Locate The Evidence.

POINT II Testimony That Police Officer Grant Knew Defendant Was Irrelevant To Any Material Issue And In The Context Of The Trial Was Admitted For An Improper Purpose (Not Raised Below).

POINT III The Court Abused Its Discretion And Deprived The Defendant Of A Fair Trial By Qualifying Detective Cassidy As An Expert In The Area Of Narcotics Distribution Because Detective Cassidy Arrested ...


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