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State v. Bragdon

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

July 16, 2015

STATE OF MAINE
v.
STEVEN W. BRAGDON

Argued June 16, 2015.

On the briefs and at oral argument: Darrick X. Banda, Esq., Law Offices of Ronald W. Bourget, Augusta, for appellant Steven W. Bragdon.

Maeghan Maloney, District Attorney, Prosecutorial District IV, Augusta, for appellee State of Maine.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.

OPINION

Page 104

MEAD, J.

[¶1] Steven W. Bragdon appeals from a judgment of conviction entered by the trial court ( Murphy, J. ) following his conditional guilty plea to a charge of possession of sexually explicit materials (Class C), 17-A M.R.S. § 284(1)(C) (2014). Bragdon contends that the court ( Billings, J. ) erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence derived from internet service provider (ISP) records that the State obtained with a grand jury subpoena. He asserts that the State was required to use the procedure set forth in 5 M.R.S. § 200-B (2014) to obtain the records, and that its failure to do so violated his right to due process. The State contends that section 200-B creates an alternative, not exclusive, method for it to use in seeking ISP records, and that even in the event of a violation of the statute, the exclusionary rule does not apply. Because we agree with the State's first contention, we affirm the judgment without reaching the second.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] The facts were stipulated at the hearing on Bragdon's motion to suppress or are otherwise not disputed. In April 2013, the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit (CCU), which routinely investigates activity involving the distribution of child pornography, began an investigation into suspicious activity involving a particular internet protocol (IP) address; FairPoint Communications was the ISP for that address.

[¶3] In May 2013, the Attorney General's Office, pursuant to M.R. Crim. P. 17(c),[1] issued a grand jury subpoena to FairPoint concerning the suspected IP address, commanding FairPoint to appear before the Kennebec County Grand Jury and produce information about the subscriber as of the time that the suspicious activity was observed. The State did not

Page 105

seek prior judicial authorization before issuing the subpoena. In response to the subpoena, FairPoint produced records identifying the IP address as one assigned to Bragdon at his home address in Waterville.

[¶4] Detectives from the CCU met with Bragdon at his home and obtained his consent to seize and search computer-related items. After receiving notice from Bragdon's attorney that Bragdon was revoking his consent to search the items, officers obtained a warrant and completed the search, during which they discovered evidence that led the grand jury to indict Bragdon on March 27, 2014.

[¶5] Bragdon moved to suppress the evidence found during the search on the ground that the State had not followed the procedure set out in 5 M.R.S. ...


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