On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Indictment No. 96-06-1372.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted January 12, 2011
Before Judges Axelrad and R. B. Coleman.
Defendant Robert Parker appeals from an order dated December 3, 2008 denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) and an evidentiary hearing. He asserts he made a prima facie showing that his constitutional rights were violated by the PCR court's rulings and that he was denied effective assistance of PCR counsel. We reject these arguments and affirm.
On June 26, 1996, Robert Parker was indicted, along with several co-defendants, on twenty-seven counts of a sixty-nine count indictment. Defendant's first trial, with co-defendant Roper Parker, was held on February 9, 1999. On February 11, 1999, the court granted defendants' motion for mistrial based on discovery violations by the State. After the second trial, conducted between January and February 2000, the jury found defendant guilty of first-degree criminal attempt, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 (count one); second-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2, 2C:35-5(b)(1) and 2C:35-5(b)(3) (count twelve); second-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(2) (counts ten, thirteen, and fourteen); third-degree possession of cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1) (counts five, eleven and fifteen); second-degree distribution of cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and 2C:35-5(b)(1) (counts three, four, seven, eight, nine, thirteen, and fourteen); and first-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and 2C:35-5(b)(1) (counts fifty-two and fifty-three). Defendant was sentenced to an aggregate term of eighteen years, with an eight year and two-month period of parole ineligibility. Defendant was acquitted of two additional charges of distribution of cocaine, two additional charges of possession of cocaine, and one charge of leading narcotics network.
In an unpublished opinion, State v. Parker, No. A-4942-99 (App. Div. June 3, 2003), we affirmed defendant's convictions. On January 31, 2006, defendant's petition for certification was granted, limited to sentencing issues under Natale.*fn1 On April 7, 2006, defendant was re-sentenced to an aggregate of seventeen years, with a seven-and-one-half-year period of parole ineligibility. Thereafter, as a result of Parker's excessive sentencing appeal, an order was issued directing that the judgment of conviction be amended to reflect appropriate credits for time served and to address the illegal imposition of consecutive license suspensions.
Defendant's conviction and sentence arose out of a State Police investigation where an informant engaged in numerous drug transactions with defendant resulting in recordings of the drug-exchange transactions; authorized wiretaps; and a warrant-authorized search. Officer Robert Reilly, of the Atlantic City Police Department, was involved in the investigation into defendant's drug-activity. Shortly thereafter, Officer Reilly was the driver of the vehicle which struck another officer.
Allegedly, Reilly was linked to a cover-up relating to the accident and encouraged others to cover up as well. On that premise, defendant requested Reilly's Internal Affairs file in discovery; however, after conducting an in-camera review, the court found the documents irrelevant and not discoverable.
A year later, Atlantic City Solicitor Jonathan Diego indicated that he accompanied Captain James Fair to court to deliver Reilly's file, and Capt. Fair removed certain documents from the file before turning it over. After Diego made this disclosure, he was fired as city solicitor.*fn2
Thereafter, Parker filed a pro se petition for PCR. Later, assisted by counsel, defendant submitted a supplemental petition for PCR. Following oral argument, Judge Albert J. Garofolo, issued a written opinion denying defendant's petition. Defendant filed this appeal and raises the following issues:
POINT I: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.
POINT II: THE TRIAL COURT'S DENIAL OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF MUST BE ...