On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 08-09-0809.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Reisner, Sabatino, and Alvarez.
After unsuccessfully moving to suppress illegal drugs found on his person by Plainfield police officers, defendant Corey R. Nelson entered into a plea agreement with the Union County Prosecutor's Office. Pursuant to that agreement, defendant pled guilty in January 2009 to third-degree possession of cocaine, a controlled dangerous substance ("CDS"), with the intent to distribute it within a school zone, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7; and second-degree possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute it within five hundred feet of a public housing facility, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1. As part of the plea agreement, the other seventeen counts of defendant's Union County indictment were dismissed, and he preserved his right to appeal the denial of his suppression motion. The agreement also acknowledged defendant's right to apply for admission into the Drug Court program.
Thereafter, in June 2009, defendant pled guilty to separate charges that were pending against him in Middlesex County for resisting arrest and other non-CDS offenses. Sentencing in the Middlesex County case was deferred until sentence was imposed in this Union County case.*fn1 Meanwhile, defendant's application to be admitted into the Drug Court program in Union County was denied because of the nature and extent of his prior convictions.
On January 15, 2010, the trial court sentenced defendant to two concurrent eight-year prison terms on the school zone and public housing CDS offenses, subject to a forty-four-month period of parole ineligibility. The sentence imposed by the court was consistent with the State's sentencing recommendation as set forth in the plea agreement.
On appeal, defendant presents the following points for our consideration:
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING [DEFENDANT]'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM AN UNLAWFUL SEIZURE MADE WITHOUT REASONABLE SUSPICION.
A. The Police Stopped [Defendant] In Violation Of His Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights Because They Lacked Reasonable Suspicion That He Was Engaged In Criminal Activity.
1. The police did not have reasonable suspicion to detain [defendant] at the outset of the encounter.
2. [Defendant]'s actions after the initial encounter did not overcome the lack of reasonable suspicion which existed at the outset because they did not give rise to rational inferences that he was involved in criminal activity.
B. The Exclusionary Rule Requires The Suppression Of All Evidence Obtained As
[a] Result Of The Illegal Stop.
PURSUANT TO THE TERMS OF THE PLEA AGREEMENT, [DEFENDANT] SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO RE-APPLY TO DRUG COURT ...