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State of New Jersey v. Matthew L. Brice

July 12, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MATTHEW L. BRICE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Ocean County, Indictment No. 08-08-1116.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted May 11, 2011

Before Judges Fuentes, Ashrafi and Newman.

Following a guilty plea, defendant Matthew Brice appeals the denial of his motion to suppress evidence. We affirm.

On April 8, 2008, the FBI executed a federal search warrant issued by a United States Magistrate Judge for defendant's home in Brick, New Jersey. They were seeking evidence of computer downloading or possession of child pornography. Brick Township police officers accompanied FBI agents during the execution of the search warrant. The FBI found no evidence of child pornography but unexpectedly found a marijuana growing operation in defendant's basement. The local police then obtained a State search warrant the same day and seized ten or more marijuana plants and other evidence.

Defendant was arrested, and a nine-count indictment was later returned against him by a State grand jury. He moved to suppress the marijuana evidence as the product of an unlawful search and seizure by State law enforcement officials. The trial court reviewed the documentary evidence and denied defendant's motion without holding an evidentiary hearing. Subsequently, defendant entered into a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to one second-degree count of manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1). He was sentenced in March 2010 to five years' imprisonment.

Defendant appeals denial of his suppression motion in accordance with Rule 3:5-7(d), making the following arguments:

POINT I

THE MOTION JUDGE MISCONSTRUED THE ISSUES RAISED BY THE MOTION TO SUPPRESS AND IN SO DOING DENIED DEFENDANT DUE PROCESS AND A FAIR TRIAL.

The Trial Court Applied the Wrong (Federal) Standard The Mishandling of the Motion Reversed the Burden of Proof This is Not a Franks Case

POINT II

THERE WAS NO PROBABLE CAUSE FOR THE FEDERAL WARRANT.

The Motion Judge Erred in Finding Child Pornography Had Been "Ordered" From the IP Address ...


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