People v. Whalen
Justice Leslie Stein
Whalen appealed from a judgment convicting him on his guilty plea of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Due to a wiretap investigation, Whalen and two co-defendants were named in a sealed indictment charging Whalen with conspiracy and criminal possession of a controlled substance. A motion to suppress over 10 ounces of cocaine seized from Whalen's vehicle was denied, and he pleaded guilty. The court stated it was unpersuaded by Whalen's argument that County Court erred in denying his suppression motion. It noted officers had a founded suspicion, thus their request for consent to search the truck was proper, as was directing a canine sniff of the car's exterior. Further, the court found no abuse of discretion in a refusal of County Court to assign Whalen new counsel in response to his request for same because of his concerns about differences in strategy and that counsel previously moved to withdraw. It stated such request and concerns could have been presented and addressed at the time counsel moved to withdraw. Also, the court found neither extraordinary circumstances nor an abuse of discretion to warrant a sentence reduction in the interest of justice, affirming the judgment.