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Joshua v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

October 30, 2019


         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          Appeal of order denying rule 3.850 motion from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Andrew L. Siegel, Judge; L.T. Case No. 09-21533CF10A.

          Kibbey | Wagner, and Jordan R. Wagner, Stuart, for appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Luke R. Napodano, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.

          PER CURIAM.


         Robert Joshua appeals the summary denial of his motion for postconviction relief, which was premised on claims of newly-discovered evidence and ineffective assistance of trial counsel. For the reasons that follow, we find no error in the trial court's summary denial and affirm.


         The salient facts of this case are set forth in detail in our prior opinion affirming in part and reversing in part following Joshua's trial, conviction and sentence on the charges of trafficking in methamphetamine (crystal meth) and trafficking in methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy). See Joshua v. State, 205 So.3d 851 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).[1] Nevertheless, we reproduce some of the background facts to place into proper context Joshua's postconviction claims and our analysis of those claims:

On November 22, 2009, Detective Thomas Reed of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department received a phone call from attorney Michael Leader. In that conversation, attorney Leader told Detective Reed that he had information from a client (who was incarcerated in the Broward County Jail), that a package containing methamphetamine ("crystal meth") was going to be delivered via Federal Express ("FedEx") to a person named Robert Joshua, at a specific street address in Fort Lauderdale ("Fort Lauderdale home"). Detective Reed asked attorney Leader to obtain additional details. Leader then obtained those additional details and called Detective Reed back, this time providing the FedEx tracking number for the package. However, at no time did attorney Leader provide Detective Reed with the name of the client from whom attorney Leader received this information.
Acting on this tip, K-9 Deputy Julie Foster and her certified drug detection canine (K-9 Kim) were dispatched to the FedEx facility in Fort Lauderdale to locate the package with the identified tracking number. Once the package was located, Deputy Foster placed it next to three other randomly-selected packages, and the drug detection dog alerted to the package with the identified tracking number, signifying the presence of narcotics. The package was seized and a search warrant was obtained. Pursuant to the warrant, the police opened the package, which contained 28.4 grams of crystal meth.
Detective Reed then prepared an affidavit and application for an anticipatory search warrant for the Fort Lauderdale home. The affidavit indicated Detective Reed would attempt to deliver the package at the Fort Lauderdale home and, if the package was accepted by someone within the premises, he would execute the search warrant to retrieve the crystal meth, conduct a narcotics investigation and effectuate an arrest if appropriate. In this affidavit, Detective Reed indicated that the information concerning the package had been obtained from "a documented confidential informant with the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department" who "has provided information in past investigations and has proven to be trustworthy and reliable."
The anticipatory search warrant was issued on November 24, 2009, and on that same day an undercover police officer, dressed as a FedEx delivery person, knocked on the door at the Fort Lauderdale home with the re-sealed package containing crystal meth. Joshua opened the door and took the package. Detective Reed and other officers then waited approximately fifteen to twenty minutes before knocking on the door again. Joshua opened the door and told Detective Reed "it's in the safe I knew you were coming." Joshua then opened the safe located in his master bedroom closet, where the 28.4 grams of crystal meth were found. The FedEx packaging, in which the crystal meth had been delivered, was found in a trash can in the bedroom. Police also seized $78, 376 found in the safe.
During the execution of the warrant, police observed, in plain view on top of the bedroom dresser, fifty-two methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("MDMA" or "ecstasy") pills, which were seized along with the crystal meth. According to Detective Reed, Joshua admitted to selling ecstasy, but denied that he ordered the crystal meth or that he was expecting its delivery. Joshua was arrested and charged with trafficking in crystal meth (Count ...

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