On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment Nos. 06-10-3414.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted February 8, 2011
Before Judges Carchman and Messano.
Following a jury trial, defendant Hadiyah Sorey was convicted of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1); third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A.2C:35-5(a)(1); and third-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1).
Prior to sentencing, defendant pled guilty to offenses related to four other indictments, which were not the subject of the trial. Specifically, defendant pled guilty to two counts of third-degree possession of heroin with the intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7; one count of third-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 35:5(a)(1); and one count of third-degree distribution of heroin, N.J.S.A. 35-5(a)(1). After appropriate mergers, the trial judge sentenced defendant on all charges to an aggregate term of ten years imprisonment with a four-year period of parole ineligibility together with mandated fines and penalties. Defendant appeals, and we affirm the convictions; however, we remand for reconsideration of the parole eligibility term imposed for the school zone pleas as well as for correcting the judgment.*fn1
The relevant facts are simply stated. On February 18, 2005, at approximately 6:35 a.m., defendant was seen standing at the corner of North 9th Street and Springdale Avenue. At the time, Lieutenant Tyrone Broner together with Detectives Alex Martin, Rafael Cabrerra and Phillip Turzani of the Newark Police Department observed defendant motioning and beckoning cars and pedestrians to approach her. Based on his observations as well as his knowledge that the area being known for "heavy drug activity," Broner concluded that defendant was selling drugs.
Utilizing a police technique known as a "buy-and-bust," Broner approached defendant, who was standing on the sidewalk on North 9th Street and asked "do [sic] anybody have any Diesel[,]" a street term of heroin. Defendant inquired as to how many the officer required, and after being told "two," she reached into her pocket and removed several glassine envelopes. She handed the officer two of the envelopes in exchange for $20. After the transaction, Broner alerted the other officers who proceeded to place defendant under arrest. A subsequent search of defendant revealed a clear plastic zip-lock bag containing 16 glassine envelopes. All of the envelopes, including those previously given to Broner, contained the marking "Seven-Thirty Virus." A laboratory analysis confirmed that the bags contained heroin.
On appeal, defendant raises the following issues:
THE MOTION FOR JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL AT THE END OF THE STATE'S CASE SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED.
DEFENDANT IS ENTITLED TO BE RESENTENCED ON TWO ...