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State of New Jersey v. Rogelio M. Chaparro

May 24, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ROGELIO M. CHAPARRO, A/K/A ELLIOTT CHAPARRO, EDINELSON GONZALEZ, LUIS R. MENDES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Morris County, Indictment No. 09-04-0462.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 19, 2012 -

Before Judges Sabatino and Ashrafi.

Tried before a jury, defendant Rogelio Chaparro appeals from a judgment of conviction for distributing cocaine and the court's sentence of imprisonment. We affirm.

I.

Defendant was charged in a ten-count indictment with the following crimes: (Count One) third-degree possession of cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); (Count Two) third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1), -5b(3); (Count Three) third-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7; (Count Four) second-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1a; (Count Five) third-degree conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a; (Count Six) third-degree distribution of cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1), -5b(3); (Count Seven) third-degree conspiracy to distribute cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a; (Count Eight) third-degree distribution of cocaine within 1,000 feet of school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7; (Count Nine) second-degree distribution of cocaine within 500 feet of public property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1a; and (Count Ten) fourth-degree obstructing the administration of law by means of flight, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1a. After a six-day trial at which two persons who had been arrested with defendant testified for the prosecution and implicated defendant in the drug offenses, the jury found him guilty on all counts of the indictment.

At defendant's sentencing, the court granted the State's motion for an extended term sentence. It then merged all the drug charges together and sentenced defendant to sixteen years imprisonment with eight years of parole ineligibility on the second-degree charge of distributing cocaine within 500 feet of public property. The court also sentenced defendant to a concurrent term of fifteen months imprisonment on the fourth-degree charge of obstruction.

On appeal, defendant raises the following arguments:

POINT I

THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS THE EVIDENCE SEIZED FROM CO-DEFENDANTS MOORE AND MILLIRON SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED DUE TO POLICE MISCONDUCT IN CONDUCTING TWO UNCONSTITUTIONAL WARRANTLESS SEARCHES.

A. DEFENDANT HAD AUTOMATIC STANDING TO MOVE TO SUPPRESS THE EVIDENCE SEIZED FROM CO-DEFENDANTS MOORE AND MILLIRON.

B. DOVER TOWNSHIP DETECTIVE GABRYS' WARRANTLESS SEARCH OF THE APARTMENT LOCATED AT [ ] NORTH SUSSEX WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND VIOLATED DEFENDANT'S FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

C. DOVER TOWNSHIP POLICE OFFICER THIEL'S WARRANTLESS SEARCH OF CO-DEFENDANT MILLIRON'S MOTOR VEHICLE WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND VIOLATED DEFENDANT'S FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

POINT II

THE EVIDENCE OF ALL COCAINE DISCOVERED AFTER THE POLICE UNCONSTITUTIONALLY AND IMPERMISSIBLY BREACHED THE PREMISES AT [ ] NORTH SUSSEX STREET WAS THE PRODUCT OF THE TWO UNLAWFUL SEARCHES CONDUCTED IN VIOLATION OF DEFENDANT'S FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

POINT III

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO BAR THE TESTIMONY OF THE STATE'S EXPERT AS SAME CONSTITUTED IMPERMISSIBLE BOLSTERING OF FACT WITNESSES AND USURPED THE JURY'S FUNCTION AS FACTFINDER.

POINT IV

THE ELICITATION OF OFFICER THIEL'S IMPROPER LAY OPINION TESTIMONY CONCERNING A HAND-TO-HAND DRUG TRANSACTION CONSTITUTED PLAIN ERROR SUCH THAT REVERSAL OF DEFENDANT'S CONVICTIONS IS WARRANTED.

POINT V

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR A NEW TRIAL BASED ON NEWLY DISCOVERED EVIDENCE.

POINT VI

DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE IS ILLEGAL AND MUST BE VACATED.

POINT VII

THE SENTENCE IMPOSED IS EXCESSIVE AND IS NOT IN CONFORMANCE WITH NEW JERSEY'S CODE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE.

Having reviewed the record and the briefs of counsel, we find no basis to reverse either the jury's ...


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