On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, 06-05-00722-I.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 10, 2009
Before Judges Winkelstein, Fuentes and Gilroy.
On May 23, 2006, a Middlesex County grand jury returned Indictment No. 06-05-00722, charging defendant, Victor Hoagland, with: third-degree possession of cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) (count one); third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3) (count two); third-degree distribution of cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3) (count three); and third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute on or near school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7 (count four).
Prior to trial, the court denied defendant's motion to compel disclosure of the identity of a confidential informant. A three-day jury trial commenced on October 23, 2006. After the State rested, defendant moved for acquittal based on an entrapment defense. The court denied the motion.
The jury subsequently convicted defendant of counts three and four. After denying defendant's motion for a new trial, the court merged count three with count four, and sentenced defendant to five years in prison with a three-year period of parole ineligibility.
On appeal, defendant, in a brief submitted by counsel, raises the following points for our consideration:
THE TRIAL COURT'S DENIAL OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR DISCLOSURE OF THE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT'S IDENTITY WAS AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHICH RESULTED IN THE DENIAL OF THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS.
THE COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO CONDUCT A SANDS HEARING PRIOR TO DEFENDANT TAKING THE WITNESS STAND AND DEFENSE COUNSEL WAS CONSTITUTIONALLY INEFFECTIVE IN FAILING TO OBTAIN THE RELEVANT DISCOVERY PRIOR TO ALLOWING DEFENDANT TO TAKE THE STAND ON HIS BEHALF. U.S. CONST. AMENDS. VI AND XIV; N.J. CONST, (1947), ART. I, PARS. 1 AND 10. (Not Raised Below).
STATEMENTS MADE BY THE PROSECUTOR DURING CLOSING ARGUMENTS RESULTED IN SUBSTANTIAL PREJUDICE TO DEFENDANT'S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO HAVE THE ...