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State v. Brooks

February 11, 2004

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
SHELTON BROOKS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Somerset County, Indictment Number 01-11-0647.

Before Judges Pressler, Parker and Coleman.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Parker, J.A.D.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 2, 2003

After a trial by jury, defendant Shelton Brooks was found guilty of third degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and -5b(3) (Count One); and second degree distribution of CDS within 500 feet of public housing, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 (Count Two). At sentencing, Count One was merged into Count Two, and he was sentenced to a term of seven years with no period of parole ineligibility.

These charges resulted from a routine undercover drug operation. Detective Robert Orro, of the Ocean County Narcotics Task Force, purchased drugs from defendant within 500 feet of the Robeson Village public housing facility.

Defendant testified at trial that another detective, William Federico, was the undercover officer to whom he sold cocaine. Detective Federico testified, however, that he never acted as an undercover officer in Franklin Township, where the incident occurred.

In this appeal, defendant argues:

POINT ONE

THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD HAVE ENTERED A JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT OR FOR A NEW TRIAL ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT AS NO REASONABLE JURY COULD HAVE FOUND DEFEDANT GUILTY

POINT TWO

A FINDING OF NOT GUILTY SHOULD HAVE BEEN ENTERED BY THE TRIAL COURT BASED UPON DUE PROCESS ENTRAPMENT

POINT THREE

THE PORTION OF N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1 MAKING IT A SECOND DEGREE OFFENSE TO DISTRIBUTE CDS WITHIN 500 FEET OF A PUBLIC HOUSING FACILITY SHOULD BE DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS IT DISCRIMINATES ON THE BASIS OF RACE, ...


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