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State v. Carton

Supreme Court of Maine

July 28, 2016

STATE OF MAINE
v.
KEVIN W. CARTON STATE OF MAINE
v.
MICAH CARTON

          Argued: May 5, 2016

         Aroostook County (Houlton) Superior Court docket numbers CR-2013-183, 184.

         On the briefs:

          Matthew C. Garascia, Esq., Auburn, for appellants Kevin Carton and Micah Carton

          Todd R. Collins, District Attorney, and Kurt A. Kafferlin, Asst. Dist. Atty., 8th Prosecutorial District, Houlton, for appellee State of Maine

         At oral argument:

          Matthew C. Garascia, Esq., for appellants Kevin Carton and Micah Carton

          Kurt A. Kafferlin, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee State of Maine

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

          JABAR, J.

         [¶1] Kevin W. Carton and Micah Carton appeal from judgments of conviction for unlawful trafficking in schedules drugs (Class B), 17-A M.R.S. § 1103(1-A)(A) (2015), entered in the trial court (Aroostook County, Stokes, J.). The Cartons challenge an order denying their motion to suppress evidence obtained in the course of police questioning and a warrantless search. Because the Cartons did not object to the search, and because a public safety exception to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), existed at the time of the officers questioning, we affirm the courts judgment.

         I. BACKGROUND

         [¶2] The following facts were found by the suppression court, are reviewed for clear error, and are supported by the record. See State v. Cote, 2015 ME 78, ¶ 9, 118 A.3d 805.

         [¶3] On November 26, 2013, a Maine State Police trooper, who was also a certified member of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agencys Clandestine Drug Lab Enforcement Team (MDEA-CDLET), received a call instructing him to contact a State Police dispatcher with whom the officer was familiar. The dispatcher informed the trooper that she suspected that a family member may have been involved in the production of methamphetamine. The trooper proceeded to Amity to meet with the dispatcher and her brother-in-law, who owned a hunting camp where he permitted members of his family to stay during the hunting season. The owner allowed the Cartons to stay at the camp with his permission for varying lengths of time. The owners son had previously informed him that he had seen his cousins, the Cartons, mixing chemicals inside a bottle while staying at the camp.

         [¶4] After the meeting in Amity, the trooper drove to the camp with the camp owner in his pickup truck. During the drive, the camp owner informed the trooper that he owned the one-room ...


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