On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Monmouth County, Indictment Nos. 09-01-0122 and 09-11-2212.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted November 7, 2011
Before Judges Parrillo, Grall and Skillman.
Defendant was indicted for possession of a handgun without a permit, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b); possession of a prohibited weapon, a sawed-off shotgun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(b); and possession of a prohibited weapon, a defaced firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(d). Defendant's wife, Jina Soulliere, was charged in the same indictment with violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(b) and N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(d). Defendant was also charged in a separate indictment with possession of cocaine, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1).
Defendant and Soulliere filed a joint motion to suppress the evidence upon which the indictment for the weapons offenses was based. The trial court conducted a three-day hearing, following which it rendered a comprehensive oral opinion denying the motion.
After denial of the motion to suppress, defendant entered into a plea bargain with the State under which he agreed to plead guilty to the charges in both indictments and the State agreed to recommend an aggregate term of no more than seven years imprisonment, with three years of parole ineligibility.*fn1
The trial court accepted the plea agreement and sentenced defendant to a seven-year term of imprisonment, with three years of parole ineligibility under the Graves Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c), for possession of a handgun without a permit. The court also sentenced defendant to concurrent four-year terms for possession of a sawed-off shotgun and possession of cocaine and a concurrent one-year term for possession of a defaced firearm.
On appeal, defendant challenges the denial of his motion to suppress and argues that his sentence was excessive. The judgment of conviction for possession of cocaine does not appear to be encompassed by defendant's appeal.*fn2
Defendant presents the following points for our consideration:
THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED PLAIN ERROR IN NOT FINDING THAT THE INITIAL MOTOR VEHICLE STOP WAS CONSTITUTIONALLY DEFICIENT.
POINT II: THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED PLAIN ERROR IN NOT FINDING THAT THE INITIAL ARREST OF DEFENDANT WAS NOT CONSTITUTIONALLY DEFICIENT.
POINT III: THE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED PLAIN ERROR BY FINDING SUFFICIENT PROBABLE CAUSE EXISTED TO JUSTIFY AN ARREST AND THEREFORE, THERE WAS NO LAWFUL ...