NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted April 16, 2013
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County and Union County, Indictment Nos. 98-09-1361; 00-04-0414; 00-09-1035.
Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Virginia Drick Messing, Designated Counsel, on the brief).
Bruce J. Kaplan, Middlesex County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Nancy A. Hulett, Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Fisher and St. John.
Defendant Angel Cordero appeals from an order of the Law Division denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
We briefly summarize the relevant procedural history and the facts based on the record before us.
Defendant was indicted for various offenses under three separate indictments. Pursuant to a negotiated plea, defendant pled guilty to first-degree conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1), and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(1); third-degree possession of a CDS, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1); first-degree possession with intent to distribute CDS, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(1); third-degree possession with intent to distribute near school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7; third-degree possession with intent to distribute near school property, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7; and second-degree possession with intent to distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(a)(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(2). The state agreed to dismiss the remaining counts against defendant in his three indictments.
On October 23, 2000, defendant appeared before the sentencing judge and entered his guilty pleas. At the plea hearing, defendant was asked by his lawyer, "do you understand that, by pleading guilty, and you not being a United States citizen, they could deport you, if they wanted to?" Defendant responded "Yeah." Question seventeen of the plea form completed by defendant also asked, "Do you understand that if you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty?" Defendant answered "Yes" to this question.
Defendant was sentenced on October 26, 2001, to an aggregate sentence of fifteen years imprisonment, subject to five years of parole ineligibility. Appropriate fines and penalties were also imposed. On October 29, 2001, the sentencing judge amended defendant's sentence to an aggregate term of fourteen years imprisonment with five years parole ineligibility. Defendant did not file a direct appeal.
Defendant filed a pro se motion to modify his sentence which was denied on December 22, 2005. Defendant then filed his first petition for PCR in August 2008. That PCR petition dealt with sentencing issues regarding his 2001 judgment of conviction. The first PCR judge ...