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State v. Arbour

Supreme Court of Maine

August 11, 2016

STATE OF MAINE
v.
FRANKLIN F. ARBOUR JR.

          Argued: June 8, 2016

         On the briefs:

          Luann L. Calcagni, Esq., Augusta, for appellant Franklin F. Arbour, Jr.

          Janet T. Mills, Attorney General, and Katie Sibley, Asst. Atty. Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee State of Maine

         At oral argument:

          Luann L. Calcagni, Esq., for appellant Franklin F. Arbour, Jr.

          Katie Sibley, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee State of Maine

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

          HUMPHREY, J.

         [¶1] Franklin Arbour Jr. appeals from a judgment of conviction for multiple drug offenses entered by the Superior Court (Kennebec County, E. Walker, J.) following a jury trial. He contends that [1] the court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a search warrant; [2] the court erred by denying his motion to suppress a statement he made to a police officer before receiving Miranda warnings; and [3] the evidence of drug quantity at trial was insufficient to support his conviction for aggravated trafficking of heroin.[1] We affirm the judgment.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Search Warrant

         [¶2] On September 17, 2014, Augusta police sought a search warrant to conduct a search at an apartment located at 58 River Street in Augusta. In the affidavit accompanying the request for a search warrant, Detective Eric Dos Santos offered the following facts. He had recently arrested John Howard on outstanding warrants and for a probation violation. While Howard was detained at the county jail on a probation violation hold, he agreed to provide information regarding stolen tools found in his vehicle and other criminal activity; the detective arranged to have the probation hold lifted and Howard released. Howard told the detective that he had sold stolen tools for Arbour; that Arbour sold stolen merchandise out of his residence on the top floor of 58 River Street; that Howard had made multiple trips for Arbour from the apartment to sell or pawn stolen tools in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts; and that he would receive gas money and heroin from Arbour in exchange for selling the tools for him. Howard also told the detective that he would buy heroin from Arbour for his own use, and that Arbour usually had "a couple of bundles" of heroin-meaning at least twenty bags of heroin- in his apartment at any given time. Howard also described an air compressor that he had seen at Arbour's apartment on his most recent visit, which Detective Dos Santos noted matched the description of a compressor that was recently reported stolen in Augusta. Finally, Howard provided a hand-drawn map of Arbour's apartment and indicated that not only were there stolen tools in the apartment, but there was also a marijuana grow operation in the adjoining attic. The detective confirmed through a police database that Howard had sold tools to pawn shops in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. The court (Augusta, E. Walker, J.) issued a search warrant authorizing, inter alia, a search of the apartment and the seizure of heroin, marijuana, other scheduled drugs, and tools.[2]

         B. Execution of the Search Warrant and Arbour's Arrest

         [¶3] Viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, the evidence at trial establishes the following facts. State v. Robinson, 2016 ME 24, ¶ 2, 134 A.3d 828. On September 17, 2014, officers with the Augusta Police Department and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency executed the search warrant at the top floor apartment at 58 River Street, which was known by police to be the residence of Arbour and his girlfriend, Angie Sousa. When law enforcement arrived to execute the warrant, Sousa was the only person present in the apartment. At some point, Arbour showed up at the apartment without being contacted by law enforcement[3] and spoke with Detective Jason Cote, who was in the apartment's entry area. Arbour told Cote to "go ahead and arrest me now" and stated that his girlfriend, Sousa, "had nothing to do with it."[4] Cote placed Arbour under arrest and notified Dos Santos, who was searching the attic at the time. Both detectives transported Arbour to the Augusta Police Department. At the police department and before receiving Miranda warnings, Arbour made an incriminating statement, which was recorded by an interview room camera.

         [¶4] During the search, the police found 114 marijuana plants and approximately twenty-five pounds of processed marijuana in the apartment and the adjoining attic. In the only room being used as a bedroom, the police found several items that would likely be used by a man, as well as a debit card in Arbour's name, in the nightstand on the left-hand side of the bed. In the same area, the police also found a thermos, which contained, relevant to this appeal, 1, 252 packets of what the police believed to be heroin and a sandwich bag containing what appeared to be cocaine base.[5]

         C. Charges

         [¶5] On November 14, 2014, a grand jury returned an eight-count indictment charging Arbour with the following:

• Aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs (heroin] (Class A], 17-A M.R.S. § 1105-A(1](H] (2015];
• Aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs (heroin] with a prior conviction (Class A], 17-A M.R.S. § 1105-A(1](B](1] (2015];
• Aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs (cocaine/cocaine base] with a prior conviction (Class A], 17-A M.R.S. §1105-A(1](B](1];
• Unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs (cocaine/cocaine base] (Class B], 17-A M.R.S. § ...

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