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State v. Boyd

Superior Court of Maine, Aroostook

December 13, 2016

STATE OF MAINE
v.
JAYDE L. BOYD Defendant

          ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS AS A DE MINIMIS INFRACTION

         Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the charge brought by the State as a de minimis infraction pursuant to 17-A M.R.S A Section 12. Defendant is charged with Class B Unlawful Trafficking of Scheduled Drugs, 17-A M.R.S.A Section 1103(1-A)(A) by accomplice liability, Title 17-A M.R.S A. Section 57(3)(A). For the following reasons the motion is denied.

         FACTS

         Hearing was held on November 30, 2016. Sworn testimony was received from Josh Caldwell, MDEA Agent Seeley and Fran Capell. Evidence also included a recording of the controlled buy conducted on December 21, 2015 and of the interview by Agent Seeley of the Defendant conducted February 2, 2016.

         In December of 2015 Caldwell was working with MDEA as an informant in drug activity. David Rowland had becomethe subject of their focus as a suspected drug/Methamphetamine dealer. A controlled buy was arranged for Caldwell to approach Rowland to buy meth. Caldwell contacted Rowland and arrangemnts were made for Caldwell to go to Rowland's home on December 21, 2015 to purchase a quantity of meth. Caldwell was fitted with an electronic recording/transmitting device.

         At that time Rowland was living at 211 Access Highway in Limestone. When Caldwell went there it was not anticipated or expected anyone else would be there. Caldwell was the sole focus of this particular controlled buy. However, when Caldwell arrived at the home, the Defendant was also present. In fact, the Defendant's mother, Fran Capell, who lived away at the time, owned the home. So others including her children and their acquantances lived there. The Defendant was at the home on some regular basis, but "came and went" depending largely on her status with her boyfriend. In December of 2015, although not living there consistently, the Defendant did stay there on occasions and knew Rowland was selling drugs from the home and using some portion of the proceeds to help pay the home expenses. She was present during some of Rowland's drug transactions.

         When Caldwell arrived at the 211 Access Highway home, he knocked on the door, was told to enter and entered into the living room. Rowland and the Defendant were sitting on one side of a an "L" shaped sectional sofa. Caldwell sat on the other side. A coffee table was positioned in front of the sofa.

         After some brief small talk, Rowland asked Caldwell if he had a jar, to package the meth in that Rowland was selling him. Caldwell responded he did not have ajar. The Defendant responded "bummer." Caldwell then indicated he had some cellophane in which to place the meth. The Defendant stated something to the effect of "how about a lollipop wrapper."[1]

         On the topic of the lollipop wrapper, Caldwell could not recall ever seeing it in the Defendant's hand or possession. Caldwell's best recollection of the lollipop wrapper is first seeing it on the coffee table when the Defendant mentioned it as a means for packaging the meth being sold.

         Rowland then placed a quantity of meth onto the lollipop wrapper and wrapped it up. Caldwell asked if that would work better than cellophane, which he had brought with him. Rowland handed the meth to Caldwell. Caldwell then said something about "..I'm just going to wrap it in this." Caldwell then wrapped the lollipop wrapper holding the meth in the cellophane he had brought with him. Caldwell paid Rowland $50. Just before leaving the Defendant asked Caldwell "..you want a beep to put it in?". Agent Seeley testified a "beep" is a term for a pipe used to smoke meth, but Caldwell testified he thought the Defendant was referring to ajar. He declined because he did not want to carry anything that bulky.[2]

         The Defendant never handled the meth or money being exchanged. The exchange of meth and money was solely between Rowland and Caldwell. The Defendant remained seated on the sofa during the entire exchange. And as previously indicated, there is no evidence she ever handled or held the lollipop wrapper. Caldwell testified he could not even recall seeing the Defendant eating or holding a lollipop while he was there.

         Other evidence produced at the hearing included the Defendant's admissions made to Agent Seeley at the February 2, 2016 interview of her drug use and having some history of trafficking in drugs(10 -20 times), some of which may have been conducted in the home at 211 Access Highway. She did not describe the December 21, 2015 sale as one of the drug deals she conducted.[3] The Defendant also introduced to evidence a legal opinion by Barbara Taylor, Esq. of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project. Her opinion indicates the Defendant, who is a Canadian citizen with legal U.S. resident status (green card) is likely to face deportation consequences with a trafficking conviction.

         DISCUSSION

         An analysis whther to dismiss a charge as a de minimis infraction starts with the predicate or assumption that the defendant is technically guilty of the charge. So we will begin with a brief analysis of the underlying charges.

         A person is guilty of unlawful trafficking in a scheduled drug if the person intentionally and knowingly trafficks in what the person knows or believes to be a scheduled drug and which is in fact a scheduled drug. 17-A, M.R.S.A. 1103(1-A) Alternatively, a person may be guilty of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs as an accomplice if the State proves beyond a reasonable doubt that with the intent of promoting or facilitating the crimes of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, the Defendant aided or attempted to aid or agreed to aid another person in the ...


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