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State of New Jersey v. Curtis Jones

March 28, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
CURTIS JONES, A/K/A CURTIS LEE JONES, RONNIE R. JONES, CURTIS JONES, AND CURTIS L. JONES, SR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment Nos. 07-03-00180, 08-05-00371, 08-08-00652, and Accusation No. 08-10-01557.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 14, 2011 -

Before Judges Cuff and Waugh.

Following denial of a motion to suppress evidence seized in a search, defendant Curtis Jones pled guilty to five counts from three indictments and one accusation, specifically: third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) (heroin), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); second degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and -5b(2); third degree possession of heroin and/or cocaine with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); second degree distribution of heroin on or within 500 feet of a public housing facility, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1; and third degree possession of CDS, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1). Judge Heimlich sentenced defendant in accordance with the plea agreement to an aggregate term of nine years in prison subject to a four-and-one-half-year period of parole ineligibility.

On appeal, defendant raises the following arguments: Point 1 The trial court should have granted defendant's motion to suppress and excluded the evidence seized from defendant, warranting vacation of the subsequent plea based on the evidence. Point 2 The trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea before sentencing.

Point 3 Defendant's sentence is improper and excessive.

In pro se supplement briefs, defendant argues:

POINT I THE ARREST WARRANT COMPLAINT SHOULD BE DISMISSED ON THE GROUNDS IT VIOLATES U.S.C.A. 4, 14.

POINT II THE COURTS DEVIATED FROM THE WRITTEN PLEA AGREEMENT. PLEA AGREEMENT IS AMBIGUOUS IN STATEMENT OF SENTENCE AND DEFENDANT WAS SENTENCED OUTSIDE OF STATUTORY MAXIMUM STATED ON PLEA AGREEMENT. and

Point I COURT DEVIATED FROM DEFENDANT'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE WRITTEN PLEA AGREEMENT, SENTENCING DEFENDANT BEYOND DEFENDANT'S EXPECTATION.

Point II THE ARREST WARRANT COMPLAINT SHOULD BE DISMISSED ON THE GROUNDS IT VIOLATES U.S.C.A. 4, 14.

In support of the application for a search warrant to search a car and two residences in Plainfield, Detective Joseph Mulligan reported information received from a confidential informant (CI). The CI described defendant as a forty to forty-five-year-old black male with a medium complexion, a heavy build (approximately 220 pounds) and about 5'10" tall. He related that the CI had observed defendant distribute CDS to several persons at two addresses in Plainfield: one on West Fourth Street and the other on Prescott Place. The detective also stated that the CI informed him that defendant received orders for CDS from a cell phone, which number the CI provided, and delivered the CDS in a black 2005 Nissan Pathfinder or black Ford pickup truck.

Detective Mulligan also related in his affidavit that the CI participated in three "controlled buys" of CDS from defendant in October 2006. During one transaction, the police observed defendant leave the West Fourth Street residence, get into the Nissan Pathfinder, and meet the CI at the pre-arranged location. In the second transaction, defendant left the Prescott Place residence, entered the black Ford pickup truck, and met the CI at ...


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