July 17, 2009
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
JAMAL A. GEORGE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of Neww Jersey, Law Division, Hudso County, Indictment No. 04-08-1326.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted April 28, 2009
Before Judges Collester and Graves.
After his motion to suppress evidence was denied, defendant Jamal George pled guilty to first-degree possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in a quantity of five ounces or more, contrary to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(1). In return for defendant's guilty plea, the State agreed to dismiss other charges and to recommend a sentence of incarceration for ten years, with a five-year period of parole ineligibility, concurrent to a sentence he was then serving. Defendant was sentenced in accordance with the negotiated plea to a ten-year term with forty months of parole ineligibility.
On appeal, defendant contends, as he did before the trial court, that Ladesha Moyd and her sister, Tywanna Taylor, who resided at 53 Roosevelt Avenue in Jersey City, did not have the authority to consent to a search of a bedroom at that location, which defendant sometimes occupied. In denying defendant's motion to suppress, the court noted there was no way for the police to "have known to go back to Mr. George and [ask for his consent] to search his room because they were previously led to believe by him he didn't even live there . . . and didn't even recognize the address." The court found that the warrantless search of the bedroom at 53 Roosevelt Avenue was valid because Ladesha Moyd voluntarily consented to the search, and the police reasonably believed Moyd had authority to consent to the search.
We are satisfied from our review of the record that the factual findings underlying the trial court's decision "are supported by sufficient credible evidence in the record." State v. Elders, 192 N.J. 224, 243 (2007) (internal quotation omitted). In addition, we are convinced that the matter was correctly decided. "Consent may be obtained from the person whose property is to be searched, from a third party who possesses common authority over the property, or from a third party whom the police reasonably believe has authority to consent." State v. Maristany, 133 N.J. 299, 305 (1993) (citations omitted). Accordingly, we affirm substantially for the reasons stated by Judge Callahan in his oral decision on January 12, 2006.
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