On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 07-04-0268.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Cuff and Lisa.
Defendant Armel Lashley entered into a plea agreement following the denial of his motion to suppress. Defendant was sentenced to four years in prison*fn1 following his plea to third degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) (cocaine), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35- 5b(3). The appropriate fees, fines, penalties, assessments and driver's license suspension were also imposed.
Police received information from a confidential informant (CI) that defendant was selling drugs from a certain location and receiving orders through calls to a certain cell phone. Acting on this information, police called the number and arranged to make a drug purchase. Police went to the location designated by the CI, made the purchase, and arrested defendant. Incident to his arrest, police searched defendant and found one bag of crack cocaine.
On appeal, defendant raises the following argument:
DEFENDANT WAS DENIED HIS RIGHTS UNDER THE FOURTH AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. I, PAR. 7 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION BECAUSE THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE THAT RESULTED FROM THE WARRANTLESS SEARCH AND SEIZURE OF THE DEFENDANT. (Not Raised Below).
In his motion to suppress, defendant argued that police lacked probable cause to arrest and search him. On appeal, defendant also argues that the exigent circumstances were created by the police and did not justify a warrantless search. We have carefully considered the record and conclude that the arguments presented by defendant are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11- 3(e)(2). The information supplied by the CI, standing alone, did not provide probable cause for a search warrant. Once, however, police corroborated the information provided by the CI, they had probable cause to arrest because a criminal offense had been committed in their presence. State v. Sullivan, 169 N.J. 204, 215-17 (2001); State v. Henry, 133 N.J. 104, 109-10, cert. denied, 510 U.S. 984, 114 S.Ct. 486, 126 L.Ed. 2d 436 (1993).
We affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Fasciale in his November 16, 2007 written opinion.