August 5, 2019
from the Judgment of Sentence Entered October 25, 2018. In
the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County Criminal
Division at No(s): CP-36-CR-0005496-2017. Before DONALD R.
MaryJean Glick, Public Defender, Lancaster, for Appellant.
M. Reeder, Assistant District Attorney, Lancaster, for
BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J.E., DUBOW, J., and
STEVENS[*] , P.J.E.
Appellant, Javier Gomez, appeals from the Judgment of
Sentence, entered on October 25, 2018, of twelve and one-half
to twenty-five years of incarceration, imposed following his
conviction for numerous narcotics-related offenses,
weapons-related offenses, theft charges, and motor vehicle
violations. We affirm.
Following a traffic stop, Appellant repeatedly refused to
provide his license, registration, and insurance information.
N.T. Jury Trial, 8/6/18, at 132-37. Officers at the scene
observed Appellant and the two other occupants of the vehicle
make furtive movements and otherwise act
strangely. See, e.g., id. 133-34 (describing how
Appellant repeatedly reached to his left and right in the
vehicle, used his cell phone to call an attorney, and, via
social media, invited people to the scene), 135 (describing a
male passenger's scratching his arms, kicking a bag
inside the vehicle, and reaching around), 165 (describing
male passenger's scratching), 203 (describing female
passenger as " very animated in her voice and her hand
expressions . . . flailing her hands . . . moving her hands
toward her breast area . . . and even inside of her
strange and obstinate behavior of Appellant and his
passengers led police to perceive them as a threat.
Id. at 134. After repeated warnings, officers broke
a window to gain entry into the vehicle and extracted
Appellant and his passengers. Id. at 157, 175-76.
searching the vehicle, police seized two firearms, a Charter
Arms .38 caliber revolver and a Ruger 9mm pistol.
Id. at 176-77. The revolver was located in the
vehicle's front enter console. Id. at 176.
Police discovered the pistol in a locked safe located in a
storage compartment behind the driver's seat.
Id. at 156-60. The key to the safe was on the same
key ring as Appellant's vehicle key. Id. Both
firearms were loaded, operable, and reported stolen.
Id. at 189-93; N.T. Non-Jury Trial, 10/15/18, at 38,
80. Police also retrieved DNA evidence from the firearms that
matched a sample provided by Appellant. N.T. Jury Trial,
8/7/18, at 291-94.
addition, police seized substantial amounts of narcotics,
including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine,
suboxone, and marijuana, as well as drug paraphernalia. N.T.
Non-Jury Trial, 10/15/18, at 56-69.
Following his arrest, the Commonwealth charged Appellant as
noted. The Commonwealth proceeded with a bifurcated trial
August 2018, a jury trial commenced to adjudicate the two
counts of Persons Not to Possess Firearms. In addition to the
evidence set forth above, the Commonwealth established that
Appellant had multiple felony drug convictions from 2003 and
2013. N.T. Jury Trial, 8/6/18, at 209-11, 232-33. Following
the presentation of evidence and argument, the trial court
instructed the jury on the relevant law. Appellant offered no
objections to the court's instructions. N.T. Jury Trial,
8/7/18, at 257, 371-89, 390-94. Following its deliberations,
the jury convicted Appellant of both counts. Id. at
October 2018, a bench trial commenced to adjudicate the
remaining charges. Appellant stipulated to all evidence
introduced during the jury trial. N.T. Non-Jury Trial,
10/15/18, at 36-38. At the conclusion of the bench trial, the
court found Appellant guilty of all charges. N.T. Non-Jury
Trial, 10/15/18, at 313-14.
Thereafter, the trial court sentenced Appellant. See
N.T. Sentencing, 10/25/2018. Appellant timely filed a
Post-Sentence Motion. Appellant sought a Judgment of
Acquittal on the Receiving Stolen Property convictions,
challenging the sufficiency of the Commonwealth's
evidence. See Post-Sentence Motion, 11/2/18, at 1-3
(unpaginated). Appellant also sought a Judgment of Acquittal
on one of the firearms offenses, asserting that the
Commonwealth had failed to establish that the Ruger 9mm
pistol was " within his reach." Id. at 3
(unpaginated) (emphasis omitted).
trial court denied Appellant's Post-Sentence Motion.
Appellant timely appealed and filed a court-ordered
Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) Statement, later amended upon
receipt of the non-jury trial transcripts. The court issued a
Appellant raises the following issues, ...