On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 05-09-1261.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Lisa and Sabatino.
Defendant, Narcisco Ramirez, pled guilty to the enhanced first-degree crime of being a leader of a narcotics trafficking network, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3, which, except as provided by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-12, is mandatorily punishable by an ordinary term sentence of life imprisonment with a twenty-five-year parole disqualifier. Pursuant to a plea agreement, invoking the authority of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-12, the prosecutor waived those mandatory sentencing provisions, and recommended a sentence of ten years imprisonment with a five-year parole disqualifier.
Judge Randolph M. Subryan, who had also taken defendant's plea, imposed the recommended sentence. He awarded four days credit for time served pursuant to Rule 3:21-8. Defendant did not appeal his conviction or sentence. However, on June 30, 2006, he filed a motion for reconsideration regarding the issue of jail credits. He withdrew that motion on December 8, 2006. Then, on January 22, 2007, defendant filed another motion for the same purpose. On April 29, 2008, Judge Subryan denied the motion.*fn1 Defendant did not appeal the denial of this motion.
On January 8, 2009, defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). He alleged that the factual basis he provided was insufficient to satisfy the elements of the crime to which he pled guilty, and that his plea was not knowing and voluntary because he was misinformed regarding the amount of jail credit he would receive.
The PCR petition came before Judge Nestor F. Guzman,*fn2
who heard oral argument on July 23, 2009. Judge Guzman issued
a comprehensive written opinion on August 28, 2009, in which he
explained in detail why he rejected defendant's arguments. He
therefore entered an accompanying order on that date denying
defendant's PCR petition. This appeal followed.
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.
A. INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL.
B. DEFENDANT DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS PLEA.
C. TRIAL COUNSEL PERMITTED DEFENDANT TO PLEAD GUILTY TO A CRIME WITHOUT HAVING ELICITED A PROPER FACTUAL BASIS FOR THAT CRIME.
Defendant's arguments are patently lacking in merit and do not warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). We affirm substantially for the reasons set forth in Judge Guzman's ...