PEOPLE v. DUKES

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Earl DUKES, Defendant-Appellant.

Decided: October 20, 1998

Before NARDELLI, J.P., and WALLACH, TOM and ANDRIAS, JJ. Susan Axelrod, for Respondent. L. Jeffrey Norwalk, for Defendant-Appellant.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Nicholas Figueroa, J., at suppression hearing;  Bruce Allen, J., at jury trial and sentence), rendered May 29, 1996, convicting defendant of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, and sentencing him, as a second felony offender, to a term of 4 1/212 to 9 years, unanimously affirmed.

 After observing an individual hand defendant money in a furtive exchange for an unidentified object in an area with a high incidence of narcotics trafficking, the experienced officer had probable cause to arrest defendant (People v. Jones, 90 N.Y.2d 835, 660 N.Y.S.2d 549, 683 N.E.2d 14;  People v. Schlaich, 218 A.D.2d 398, 640 N.Y.S.2d 885, lv. denied 88 N.Y.2d 994, 649 N.Y.S.2d 401, 672 N.E.2d 627).   Accordingly, defendant's motion to suppress was properly denied.

 Defendant has failed to preserve his contention that a comment of the prosecutor during summation deprived him of a fair trial (People v. Balls, 69 N.Y.2d 641, 511 N.Y.S.2d 586, 503 N.E.2d 1017), and we decline to review this claim in the interest of justice.   Were we to review such claim, we would find that the isolated comment constituted a fair inference to be drawn from the evidence (People v. Galloway, 54 N.Y.2d 396, 446 N.Y.S.2d 9, 430 N.E.2d 885).

MEMORANDUM DECISION.