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State of New Jersey v. Jocelin A. Reeves

July 18, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOCELIN A. REEVES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Indictment No. 09-06-1321.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 6, 2011

Before Judges C.L. Miniman and LeWinn.

Defendant appeals the order denying her motion to suppress evidence of drugs seized pursuant to the execution of a "no knock" warrant. We affirm.

Defendant and co-defendant Tyrone Bailey shared a residence in Neptune. On January 7, 2009, Detective Christopher Camilleri, a member of the Narcotics Strike Force (NSF) in the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, obtained a "no knock" warrant to search those premises. In his supporting affidavit, Camilleri averred that: (1) a confidential informant (CI) informed him and other members of the NSF that defendant and Bailey were distributing drugs from their residence; and (2) on four occasions between November 19, 2008 and January 2, 2009, the CI made "controlled purchase[s]" of crack cocaine from Bailey and defendant at that address.

Camilleri further averred that Bailey "currently has eight (8) felony convictions on his" record and "had numerous previous arrests for CDS related offenses including possession with intent to distribute . . . [CDS], weapons possession and assault." Camilleri also asserted that defendant "has been arrested multiple times for CDS violations including possession with the intent to distribute . . . [CDS] and for possession of a handgun."

In support of his request for a "no knock" warrant, Camilleri stated:

Based on the concern for the safety of the officers executing the [s]earch [w]arrant, as well as preventing the destruction of any evidence, your deponent respectfully requests that a no knock warrant be issued.

To knock and announce our presence under this application would be futile, based on the fact that both targets have previous arrests for weapons offenses and more specifically [defendant] for possession of a handgun. Such announcement could put officers in danger and would inhibit the effective investigation of the criminal activities occurring at this location.

Based upon the evidence obtained from the execution of the search warrant, defendant and Bailey were indicted for third-degree possession of cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1); third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(3); and second-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1.*fn1

On November 25, 2009, defendant filed a Notice of Motion to Suppress Evidence. Her attorney's certification in support of that motion, however, addressed only the issue of severance of defendant and Bailey for trial. The "no knock" warrant was not discussed.

On March 9, 2010, the judge heard oral argument on defendant's motion to suppress. Defendant contended that Camilleri presented a false record of both Bailey's and her prior criminal histories, and that the detective "knew it wasn't true . . . ." Bailey asserted that he had no prior weapons possession offense as Camilleri had stated;*fn2 he had been arrested for simple assaults, one of which had been dismissed. The prosecutor acknowledged that Bailey did not have a prior conviction for weapons possession, but did for assault.

Defendant had a prior arrest for drugs and possession of a handgun in 1995, which had been dismissed. Defendant asserted that no judge would have authorized a "no knock" warrant had the true facts been presented regarding these criminal histories. Defendant did not, however, elaborate upon or ...


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