The petitioner was arrested and charged with several serious crimes. Some of the charges included attempted criminal possession of drugs in the first degree, kidnapping in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon and attempted robbery in the first degree.
The petitioner was held without bail and was indicted for all of these crimes. He entered a plea of guilty to criminal possession of drugs in the second degree, a class A felony, and to the weapons charge. The judge promised a sentence of nine years to life on the drug charge and five years as a definite term on the gun charge.
The defendant and another gentleman negotiated with an undercover officer or confidential informant to purchase two million dollars of cocaine. The negotiations for this deal took place over several days at different locations in Queens. The plan involved exchanging cars. The “seller” was then to place the cocaine in the defendant’s car while the defendant’s “buyers” were to then put the money into the seller’s car.
The exchange of cars occurred in September. The re-exchange of the cars was supposed to occur the next day. However, this did not occur as the entire operation was a sting set up by the authorities. The “seller” never had the cocaine and it was clear after the arrest that the defendant and the co-defendant did not have any money.
During a meeting before the exchange took place the confidential information met the petitioner on a street in Queens. The defendant said the money was in the back of the car and the defendants asked the “seller” to enter the back of the car to check the money. However, the confidential informant “seller” refused to enter the car.
The petitioner then removed the suitcase from the back of the car and put it in the trunk. The “seller” was asked again to inspect the money and at this point the defendant and his partner held semi-automatic handguns. They each loaded a bullet into the guns and then the defendant held his against the rib area of the individual.
This is the entire crime as the police then stepped in.
Court Discussion and Decision
From the scenario above there are certain facts that must be assumed. The first is that there was no cocaine; at least none was seen by the petitioner. There was also no money received or vouchered. There were two guns recovered from the scene and they had clearly been used for an attempted robbery.
From these facts, it is hard to discern a crime of kidnapping. Another issue that is difficult to understand is why the defendant pled guilty to the drug possession charges.
The petitioner was charged with possession of cocaine. However, there is no evidence to support this charge.
The court has reviewed all of the documents from the case and is granting the petition. The petitioner will be granted a new trial based on the facts of the case.
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