NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued February 13, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment Nos. 10-04-00891 and 10-09-2278.
Joshua D. Sanders, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant.
(Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney; Mr. Sanders, of counsel and on the brief).
Sarah Lichter, Deputy Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent (Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Attorney General, attorney; Ms. Lichter, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Simonelli, Koblitz and Accurso.
A grand jury indicted defendant Andre Reid for third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) (count one); third-degree possession with the intent to distribute a CDS, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and -5b(3) (count two); and third-degree distribution of a CDS, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and -5b(3) (count three). At the conclusion of the State's case, the trial judge dismissed count three. A jury found defendant guilty on count one, and not guilty on count two.
A different grand jury indicted defendant for third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon (BB gun), N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b. Defendant subsequently pled guilty to an amended charge of fourth-degree violation of the regulatory provisions relating to firearms, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-10.
The trial judge sentenced defendant to a four-year term of imprisonment with a two-year period of parole ineligibility for the conviction for possession of CDS and a concurrent eighteen-month term of imprisonment for the conviction for the regulatory provisions violation. The judge also imposed the appropriate penalties, fees, and assessments.
On appeal, defendant raises the following contentions:
THE COURT REFUSED TO SUPPRESS, AT THE INITIAL MOTION, THE EVIDENCE SEIZED FROM [DEFENDANT] BASED PRINCIPALLY UPON THE DOCUMENTS ALLEGING THAT THE OFFICERS HAD PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST AND THE EVIDENCE WAS RECOVERED PURSUANT TO THE DOCTRINE OF SEARCH INCIDENT TO ARREST. THE FOLLOWING DAY, AT TRIAL, ALL THREE OFFICERS TESTIFIED TO OBSERVING A "HAND-TO-HAND" TRANSACTION WITHOUT ANY OF THE REQUISITE DETAILS NECESSARY TO PROVIDE PROBABLE CAUSE TO ARREST AND ...