Submitted: January 9, 2019
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID.
VALIHURA, SEITZ, and TRAYNOR, Justices.
F. TRAYNOR JUSTICE
12th day of March 2019, after careful consideration of the
parties' briefs and the record on appeal, it appears to
the Court that:
Lamont Valentine was pulled over on March 19, 2016 by
Delaware State Police Trooper Chase Lawson for speeding. Upon
approaching Valentine's Dodge Challenger, Lawson smelled
marijuana, although Lawson could not tell if it was burnt or
Lawson asked Valentine for his license and registration,
returned to his patrol car, and called for backup. Once
backup arrived, Lawson asked Valentine to exit his car while
police searched it.
a result of their search, police found a 9mm pistol and 34
rounds of ammunition in Valentine's car. Police did not
find any marijuana.
Valentine moved to suppress evidence of the pistol and
ammunition, arguing that the smell of marijuana did not
provide probable cause to search his car. The Superior Court
denied that motion.
After a bench trial, the Superior Court found Valentine
guilty of one count of possession of a firearm by a person
prohibited. He was sentenced to a ten-year minimum
mandatory sentence as a repeat offender. Valentine timely
appealed to this court.
Valentine first appeals his sentencing as a repeat offender.
Valentine has two prior felony convictions, both from
Valentine's first conviction occurred after a jury found
him guilty of violating 35 Pa. Cons. Stat. §
780-113(30), which prohibits "the manufacture, delivery,
or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, a
controlled substance . . . or knowingly creating, delivering
or possessing with intent to deliver, a counterfeit
Valentine's second conviction occurred after he pleaded
guilty to violating 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6106(a)(1),
which prohibits "carr[ying] a firearm in any vehicle or
any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his
person . . . without a valid and lawfully issued
State sought to have Valentine sentenced pursuant to 11
Del. C. § 1448(e)(1)(c), which provides for
enhanced sentencing for those who have been previously
convicted of two or more violent felonies, a term defined in
11 Del. C. § 4201(c). Defendants with
out-of-state convictions that are "the same as or