NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued January 8, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Gloucester County, Indictment No. 08-05-0108.
Amira R. Scurato, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant
(Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney; Ms. Scurato, of counsel and on the brief).
Joseph A. Glyn, Deputy Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent (Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney; Mr. Glyn, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Alvarez and St. John.
Tried to a jury, defendant Lamar F. Young was convicted of second-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(2) and 2C:35-5(a)(1). He was sentenced on April 21, 2011, as a second-time drug distributor, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(f), to a mandatory extended term of thirteen years, subject to parole ineligibility of six years,  concurrent to a sentence defendant was then serving. We affirm.
The State's proofs established that on two occasions, February 7, 2007, and April 19, 2007, investigators from the State Police and the Glassboro Police Department arranged for controlled drug buys to be made by a cooperating witness, Julius Jones. The weight of crack cocaine sold on the first occasion was 9.48 grams, and on the second occasion, 8.95 grams. After making the two buys, Jones entered the Witness Relocation Program and subsequently refused to testify at defendant's trial.
State Police Detective Michael Flory and Glassboro Police Department Detective Michael Powell both testified as to the first purchase. They were present when Jones made a one-minute phone call to a person Powell identified as defendant. Powell said he had five or six prior "interactions" with defendant, and claimed to recognize his voice. That conversation was recorded and played to the jury. Flory and Powell then searched Jones, finding neither contraband nor money in his vehicle or on his person. They equipped Jones with an on-body transmitter and recorder and gave him $600 with which to purchase a half-ounce of crack cocaine.
Jones drove to the meet location, a barber shop in Glassboro, at approximately 5:00 p.m., followed by the detectives. Shortly after Jones's arrival, defendant arrived in a white Buick. Jones got into defendant's car briefly, returned to his own vehicle, and drove away, with the officers behind him. At the prearranged location, Jones gave the officers a plastic sandwich bag containing three smaller bags later confirmed to be crack cocaine. Jones's vehicle and person were again searched to ensure that the only items in his possession were the drugs.
On the second occasion, Jones was given $600 to purchase half an ounce of crack cocaine and called a person, whom Powell identified as defendant, while in the officer's presence. That tape was also played to the jury. On this occasion, Jones and defendant agreed to meet at defendant's home. Followed by detectives, Jones pulled into defendant's driveway. The officers witnessed Jones and defendant walk towards some dog pens located behind the house, where the two men briefly remained out of sight. When Jones drove away, he was again followed by the officers to a predetermined location. He gave the officers a ...