On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 95-02-0249.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Sabatino and Alvarez.
Defendant Jorge Carrera-Hernandez appeals from the denial of his application for post-conviction relief (PCR). For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
On June 10, 1996, defendant entered a guilty plea to one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute within 1000 feet of a school, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7. Reduced to its simplest terms, defendant's factual basis was that earlier on November 31, 1994, he was asked by someone while he was in Hoboken to hold cocaine for them. He planned to "return" the drugs at some point thereafter in a nightclub in West New York. Defendant was stopped and the drugs were seized while he was at 61st and Hudson Streets in West New York at approximately 2:00 a.m. on December 1. Pursuant to the plea agreement, defendant was sentenced on August 23, 1996, to five years probation, 364 days county jail time, and appropriate fines and penalties.
When the plea was entered, the court inquired as follows:
THE COURT: Are you a citizen of the United States?
THE DEFENDANT: I'm a permanent resident alien.
THE COURT: You understand by pleading guilty to this offense, this may have an effect on your ability to remain in the United States?
THE COURT: The Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS], when notified of your conviction, may take steps to have you deported from this country.
THE DEFENDANT: I'm aware of that.
At sentencing, the court noted that despite defendant's acknowledged drug use since age thirteen, his only prior contact with the criminal justice system was a conditional ...