On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Nos. 05-01-0136-I and 05-08-0899-I.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted September 29, 2008
Before Judges Wefing and Parker.
On August 2, 2006, the trial court entered the following judgments of conviction, defendant having entered negotiated pleas of guilty: 05-06-0730-I, fourth-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1); 05-08-0899-I, third-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b; 05-01-0136-I, fourth-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1); and 06-05-0668-A, fourth-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1). The trial court sentenced defendant to three years in prison for the weapons offense and eighteen months in prison for each of the narcotics offenses, directing that these sentences be served concurrently. Defendant's aggregate term was thus three years. Defendant has appealed. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.
Defendant's notice of appeal*fn1 encompasses two indictments: 05-01-0136-I, in which defendant was convicted of fourth-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and 05-08-0899-I, in which he was convicted of unlawful possession of a handgun. He filed a motion to suppress in connection with each indictment and each motion was denied. On appeal, he contends that the trial courts that heard his motions erred in denying them. He raises the following arguments:
ON INDICTMENT 05-01-0136-I, AS THE SERGEANT WENT TO OBSERVE DEFENDANT ON THE BASIS OF A "TIP" WHICH INDICATED THAT THERE WOULD BE MARIJUANA IN THE CAR, THE SEIZURE OF THE MARIJUANA WAS NOT BASED ON EXIGENCY, AS THE OFFICER HAD AMPLE TIME TO SECURE AN ANTICIPATORY SEARCH WARRANT FOR THE CAR.
THIS SEARCH WAS IN VIOLATION OF DEFENDANT'S RIGHTS UNDER THE FOURTH AMENDMENT AND HIS RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL.
ON INDICTMENT 05-08-0889-I[sic], THE TRIAL COURT ERRED ON[sic] RELYING ON EXIGENCY AS A WARRANT EXCEPTION TO THE SEARCH OF DEFENDANT'S CAR, IN VIOLATION OF DEFENDANT'S FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS AND HIS RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL.
SHOULD THIS COURT REVERSE THE DENIALS OF THE MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE, THE PLEAS OF GUILTY ON INDICTMENT 05-06-0730-I AND ACCUSATION 06-05-0668-A MUST BE VACATED.
We turn first to Indictment 05-01-0136-I, which contained one count, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute. Defendant was charged with that offense following his arrest in the early evening hours of August 10, 2004, in Plainfield. Defendant ...