Submitted April 27, 1999
June 7, 1999
Appeal by the People from an order of the County Court, Suffolk County (Corso, J.), dated August 7, 1997, which granted the defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment on the ground that preindictment delay deprived him of due process.
James M. Catterson, Jr., District Attorney, Riverhead, N Y (Jacqueline M. Dudley, Guy Arcidiacono, and Brian Grauer of counsel), for appellant.
GABRIEL M. KRAUSMAN, J.P., LEO F. McGINITY, SANDRA J. FEUERSTEIN, NANCY E. SMITH, JJ.
ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, and the indictment is reinstated.
In assessing a due process claim based on preindictment delay, the factors to be considered are (1) the length of the delay, (2) the reason for the delay, (3) the degree of actual prejudice to the defendant, and (4) the seriousness of the underlying offense ( see, People v. Quiroz, 192 A.D.2d 730; People v. Rosado, 166 A.D.2d 544; see also, People v. Singer, 44 N.Y.2d 241). Upon consideration of these factors, we conclude that the 19-month delay between the commission of the crimes and the defendant's arrest did not deprive him of due process.
The defendant was charged in the indictment with A-I and A-II drug felonies ( see, Penal Law article 55), and he offered only a "routine-like claim of prejudice" ( People v. Fuller, 57 N.Y.2d 152, 160; see also, People v. Lee, 234 A.D.2d 140, 143). The People offered good cause for the failure to arrest the defendant immediately after his participation in three narcotics transactions. For the next year, the police were involved in an ongoing narcotics investigation and did not want to compromise the identity of the confidential informant who was involved in the transactions with the defendant ( see, e.g., People v. Brewley, 192 A.D.2d 540; People v. Martinez, 187 A.D.2d 992; People v. Donovan, 141 A.D.2d 835). The People sufficiently justified the remaining delay through evidence of the efforts by the police to locate the defendant ( see, People v. Quiroz, supra; People v. Cox, 188 A.D.2d 316; People v. Montez, 167 A.D.2d 356).