On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Somerset County, Indictment Nos. 09-05-0405 and 09-07-0541.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 25, 2011 -
Before Judges Carchman and Nugent.
Defendant Lloyd A. Fisher was charged in two indictments with, collectively, four counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) with intent to distribute, and one count of possession of a CDS. He pled guilty to all counts and was sentenced in accordance with a negotiated guilty plea to an aggregate prison term of twelve years with fifty-three months of parole ineligibility. Defendant appeals from the judgment of conviction and argues that the trial court erroneously denied his motion to suppress the drugs seized from his refrigerator by the police who entered his home without knocking when they executed a search warrant; and that the trial court improperly concluded it was bound to impose the sentence agreed upon by the parties in the plea agreement.
We conclude that the manner in which the police executed the search warrant was reasonable, and that the trial court properly sentenced defendant in accordance with his negotiated plea agreement. We affirm.
Somerset County grand juries charged defendant in Indictment No. 09-05-0405 (the first indictment) with third-degree possession with intent to distribute a CDS, cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and -5b(3) (count one); third-degree possession with intent to distribute a CDS, heroin, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and -5b(3) (count two); and fourth-degree possession with intent to distribute a CDS, marijuana, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and -5b(12) (count three); and in Indictment No. 09-07-0541 (the second indictment) with second-degree possession with intent to distribute a CDS, cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and -5b(2) (count one); and third-degree possession of a CDS, cocaine, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) (count two).
Following his unsuccessful attempt to suppress the drugs that resulted in the first indictment, defendant pled guilty to all counts in both indictments. In exchange, the State recommended imposition of an aggregate extended prison term of eight years with forty-six months of parole ineligibility on the first indictment, and an aggregate extended prison term of twelve years with fifty-three months of parole ineligibility on the second indictment, the sentences to be served concurrently. The State also agreed to dismiss a pending disorderly persons offense.
On February 5, 2010, the court sentenced defendant on the first indictment to concurrent prison terms of eight years with forty-six months of parole ineligibility on counts one and two; and to a concurrent prison term of eighteen months on count three. On the second indictment, the court sentenced defendant to concurrent prison terms of twelve years with fifty-three months of parole ineligibility on count one, and three years on count two. The court ordered that the sentences on all counts were to run concurrently, and imposed appropriate fines and assessments.*fn1
Thereafter, defendant filed this appeal and raises the following points for our consideration.
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS THE DRUGS SEIZED AFTER POLICE FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE KNOCK AND ANNOUNCE ...