APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 16-2714, DIVISION
"P" HONORABLE LEE V. FAULKNER, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D.
Connick, Jr. Terry M. Boudreaux Anne M. Wallis Michael D.
Smith, Jr. Molly Massey.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, DONALD BARDELL Jane L.
composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Jude G. Gravois, and
Robert A. Chaisson.
A. CHAISSON JUDGE.
Donald Bardell, appeals his conviction and sentence for
possession with intent to distribute cocaine and specifically
challenges the trial court's denial of his motion to
suppress evidence. Having found no merit to the arguments
presented on appeal, we affirm defendant's conviction and
sentence and remand the matter to the district court for
correction of the commitments.
4, 2016, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney filed a bill
of information charging defendant with possession with intent
to distribute cocaine, in violation of La. R.S. 40:967(A). At
his arraignment, defendant pled not guilty. Following
resolution of some pretrial motions, defendant proceeded to
trial before a twelve-person jury on November 29, 2016, and
was found guilty as charged.
thereafter filed a motion for post-verdict judgment of
acquittal, arrest of judgment, and alternatively, a motion
for new trial. On December 13, 2016, the trial court denied
defendant's motion and sentenced him to four years in the
Department of Corrections with the first two years of the
sentence to be served without benefit of probation, parole,
or suspension of sentence. Defendant now appeals.
evening hours of March 9, 2016, pursuant to information
received from a confidential informant, Detective Christopher
Cade and other officers with the Jefferson Parish
Sheriff's Office Narcotics Division set up surveillance
in the area of East William David and Ursuline Street in
Metairie. Specifically, the informant relayed that a
narcotics transaction involving a black male known as
"Donald" would occur in that area and that the
subject would be driving a dark blue Acura sedan with dark
approximately 9:45 p.m., during the time frame specified by
the informant for the transaction, Detective Cade observed a
car matching the description arrive in the area and pull to
the side of the road. Shortly thereafter, a white female
approached, leaned into the vehicle for about twenty seconds,
and then departed. The Acura also left the area, at which
point assisting detectives picked up surveillance of the
vehicle. Detective Randy Picarella, one of the officers
following the car, relayed on the radio that the driver of
the car was making "countersurveillance movements,
" including driving at a slow rate of speed, signaling
to turn but then failing to turn, and taking an indirect
route. Further, Detective Picarella observed that the driver
failed to use his turn signal.
on the officers' observations and the traffic violation,
Detective Cade initiated a traffic stop and approached the
driver's side of the vehicle. After explaining to
defendant, the driver and sole occupant, the reason for the
stop, Detective Cade asked defendant to exit the vehicle. As
defendant stepped out, the dome light illuminated the
interior of the vehicle, and Detective Cade observed a small
off-white rock-like object consistent with cocaine wrapped in
a clear plastic bag in the center console. Defendant was then
handcuffed and advised of his Miranda rights.
the officers searched his vehicle, and in the back ashtray of
the center console, discovered a bag containing fourteen
individually packaged off-white rock-like objects and seven
individually wrapped bags of white powder
substance. In addition, a search of defendant yielded
$240.00 and a cell phone. As a result of this stop, defendant
was arrested for possession with intent to distribute
cocaine and was issued traffic citations for