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State of New Jersey v. John Geiger

April 28, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOHN GEIGER, A/K/A JOHN J. GEIGER, III, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Ocean County, Indictment Nos. 06-04-0546 and 07-01-0093.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 15, 2011

Before Judges Messano and Waugh.

Defendant John Geiger appeals the denial of his motion to suppress certain evidence seized during the execution of a search warrant at his home, as well as the aggregate sentence of incarceration for eighteen years, with a forty-five-month period of parole ineligibility, resulting from his subsequent guilty plea. We affirm.

I.

We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.

Geiger was indicted on April 5, 2006. The four-count indictment charged him with third-degree aggravated assault, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(5)(a), third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) (cocaine), contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1), third-degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and

(b)(3), and third-degree possession with intent to distribute in a school zone, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. The underlying events were alleged to have taken place on September 5, 2005.

At the time that indictment was returned, Investigator Harry Vandezilver, who was assigned to the Ocean County Narcotics Strike Force (Strike Force), began another investigation involving Geiger, based upon information received from a confidential informant that Geiger was selling drugs from his home and his car. The informant was known to be reliable by the Strike Force, for which the informant had engaged in controlled purchases of narcotics.

Vandezilver's investigation included several controlled drug purchases from Geiger by an undercover officer working with him. In connection with the second such transaction, the undercover investigator contacted Geiger to set up the buy. After they had done so, Geiger was observed traveling to his home, entering and then exiting it shortly thereafter, and then getting into his gold 1999 Honda with Charles Perez. He and Perez drove to the location at which he had promised to meet the undercover officer. Geiger was seen getting into the undercover officer's car, while Perez drove Geiger's car. After the officer and Geiger started to drive, they engaged in a drug transaction.

On another occasion, Vandezilver observed Geiger leave his home and walk to a car in the adjacent parking lot. Vandezilver witnessed Geiger and the occupant of the vehicle engage in a drug transaction.

Based upon information contained in Vandezilver's affidavit, the Law Division issued two warrants on May 24, 2006. The warrants authorized the search of Geiger's residence and automobile, respectively. When the search warrant for Geiger's home was executed, Task Force members recovered 245.3 grams of cocaine, 298.3 grams of marijuana, $31,460 in cash, drug paraphernalia, a silencer, and ammunition.

As a result of Vandezilver's investigation, Geiger was indicted on January 16, 2007. The eleven-count indictment charged Geiger with first-degree possession with intent to distribute cocaine, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(1) (count 1); third-degree possession of cocaine, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1) (counts 2, 5, and 8); third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(3) (counts 3 and 6); third-degree distribution of cocaine, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and 2C:35-5(b)(3) (counts 4 and 7); third-degree possession with intent to distribute marijuana, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(11) (count ...


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