May 14, 2008
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
MONIQUE SCOTT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, 05-10-1529.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted May 6, 2008
Before Judges Coburn and Grall.
Defendant, Monique Scott, was tried before a jury and found guilty on numerous controlled dangerous substances ("CDS") charges. At sentencing, the verdicts were merged into the conviction for second degree distribution of CDS within a public housing facility, public park, or public building, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1)and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1(a). Defendant's sentence on that count was imprisonment for ten years with five years of parole ineligibility.
On appeal, defendant offers the following arguments:
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE DEFENDANT'S REYES MOTION AS THE STATE FAILED TO PRESENT IN ITS CASE SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE THAT A REASONABLE JURY COULD HAVE FOUND GUILT OF THE CHARGES BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.
THE SENTENCE IMPOSED BY THE COURT WAS EXCESSIVE.
After carefully considering the record and briefs, we are satisfied that defendant's first point is without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). However, a remand for resentencing is required. We add the following comments.
At the conclusion of the State's case, defendant moved for dismissal of the indictment. Correctly applying the principles set forth in State v. Reyes, 50 N.J. 454, 458-59 (1967), Judge Theemling denied the motion. We affirm substantially for the reasons he expressed, while noting that one of the arresting officers testified that it was still light out when he observed defendant make a hand-to-hand transaction with another person.
More specifically, the officer said that he saw defendant hand a blue packet to the other person, who handed defendant currency. He further testified that he recognized the item passed as having the typical packaging of PCP. Shortly after the sale, the police followed and arrested the purchaser for possession of PCP, which was packaged in the manner previously noted. Defendant was arrested about a half hour later, and although at the time she had neither drugs nor money on her person, the evidence noted above was sufficient to meet the Reyes standard.
Defendant was convicted of a second degree crime, and the State's motion for an extended term, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:44-3(a), was granted, which would expose defendant to imprisonment for up to twenty years. But the judge failed to make the findings required by State v. Pierce, 188 N.J. 155, 168-70 (2006). Therefore, we remand for resentencing.
Affirmed in part and reversed in part.
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