June 21, 2012
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
RAYMOND BLOW, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 07-09-1193.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted March 28, 2012
Before Judges Fuentes and J. N. Harris.
Defendant Raymond Blow appeals from the order of the trial court denying his post conviction relief (PCR) petition. We affirm.
On September 20, 2007, a Passaic County Grand Jury indicted and charged defendant with third degree possession of heroin, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1); third degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and (b)(3); third degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7; and second degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public housing facility, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7.1.
Defense counsel filed a motion to suppress evidence seized by the State pursuant to a search warrant. Through the efforts of defense counsel, the State conceded that the evidence found by law enforcement personnel in defendant's basement and car, and on defendant's person should be suppressed. As a result of these efforts, defendant entered into a plea agreement with the State on May 14, 2008, through which he pled guilty to one count of third degree possession of heroin, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1). Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, the State agreed to dismiss all of the remaining counts in the indictment and to recommend that defendant be sentenced to a term of four years imprisonment*fn1 and that defendant forfeit the $762 seized by the police.*fn2 On September 4, 2008, the court sentenced defendant consistent with the plea agreement.
On October 6, 2009, defendant filed a PCR petition claiming that his trial counsel provided him with ineffective assistance when he pressured defendant to plead guilty. Defendant also claimed that counsel was ineffective when he failed to challenge certain deficiencies in the search warrant affidavit, to obtain the name of a confidential informant, to obtain access to a detective's personnel file, and to challenge the forfeiture of the funds seized by the police.
Judge Philip H. Mizzone, Jr. denied defendant's petition without an evidentiary hearing. He explained his ruling in a memorandum of decision dated August 31, 2010. Defendant now appeals raising the following argument.
AN EVIDENDIARY [SIC] HEARING SHOULD BE HELD AS THE COURT LACKED PROBABLE CAUSE TO ISSUE A SEARCH WARRANT BECAUSE THE WARRANT WAS ISSUED BASED SOLELY ON THIRD PARTY HEARSAY Defendant's argument lacks sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion, R. 2:11-3(e)(2). We affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Mizzone.