ORDER ON MOTION TO SUPPRESS
E. Walker Justice, Superior Court.
Michael Journet, has filed a motion to suppress evidence and
statements. After the careful consideration of the testimony
offered by the State's witnesses on November 29, 2016,
and the thoughtful arguments advanced by Mr. Journet's
attorney, the Court denies the motion.
facts, happily, are uncomplicated. A cooperating defendant
whose residence at 10 Winthrop Court, Augusta, was the
subject of a search warrant, offered information to Detective
Bourque regarding his heroin supplier. The cooperating
defendant set up a buy with his supplier, all of which was
memorialized in text communications, all of which Detective
information provided by the confidential informant, which
later proved nearly metaphysical in its accuracy, prophesied
as follows. On December 16, 2015, between the hours of 5:00
and 6:00 p.m., a black male would deliver 10 grams of heroin
to 10 Winthrop Court. The black male would be driving a blue
BMW SUV and would be coming from the Portland area, and his
known practice was to transport heroin inside of his pants.
Bourque in fact observed a blue BMW SUV at approximately 6:40
p.m. on December 16, 2015, operated by a black male with a
white female passenger on Winthrop Street, turning onto
Winthrop Court. Detective Bourque initiated a traffic stop.
The operator was identified as Michael Journet of Brunswick.
Detective Bourque observed that Mr. Journet's pants
zipper was down and his underwear was protruding outward. The
female passenger, Danielle Bunikis, was hysterical and
screaming. Journet and Bunikis were transported to the
Kennebec County Sheriffs Office, where Bunikis pulled from
her underwear a baggie of what was later tested positive for
heroin. The DHHS lab measured its weight at 9.94 grams.
was Mirandized and initially chose to invoke those rights.
Later, Journet chose, quite voluntarily, based on the
totality of the circumstances, to answer questions. Journet
admitted that the heroin was his and that he had thrown it to
Bunikis when they were pulled over. The Court finds that in
making the confession, Journet acted of his own free will and
rational intellect and in so doing, waived his Miranda rights
that were administered to him.
Court also finds and concludes that the information provided
by the cooperating defendant, examined based on the totality
of the circumstances, to be a reliable predicate to the stop
and probable cause for arrest. Mr. Journet points out the
paucity of extrinsic evidence about the cooperating
defendant, which might, writ large, inform us as to his
general reliability in the world. However, that is not the
analytical guidepost to which the Court must adhere. Mr.
Journet appears to attack the tipster's reliability on
the grounds that this was the "first time in the
informant's life he became a source of information for
law enforcement." A tipster's anemic resume as an
informant does not, standing alone, undermine the reliability
of the information provided. If that were true, the obvious
epistemological problems would quickly reveal themselves as
wholly unhelpful and unnecessary to an overall fidelity to
our Constitutional safeguards.
cooperating defendant, known to Detective Bourque, worked
with law enforcement in providing exceptionally accurate
information regarding Mr. Journet The fortuity that the
State's witnesses could not with precision identify the
year or model of the blue BMW SUV, or its license plate state
or number is of no analytical moment to the Court. Detective
Bourque observed the sale orchestrated through text message.
The stop was made after observing a blue BMW SUV, operated by
a black male, on Winthrop Court, on the date and within 40
minutes of the time indicated by the cooperating defendant. A
moment after the stop, Defendant was observed with his fly
down and underwear sticking through the opening in his pants
where the cooperating defendant had indicated that Defendant
stored heroin. Defendant's companion promptly began
pulling her own hair and screaming, and later produced a bag
of heroin from her underwear. After having been properly
Mirandized, Defendant voluntarily confessed to the possession
of heroin and how it got from his underwear to Bunikis's
the totality of the factual circumstances to the
well-developed body of case law regarding 4th and
5th Amendment jurisprudence, the motion to
suppress evidence and statements is denied.
reasons stated herein, Defendant's motion to suppress
evidence and statements is denied. The Clerk is directed to
enter this Order on the unified criminal docket by reference
pursuant to Maine Rule of Unified Criminal Procedure 53(a}.
 Mr. Journet advances and conflates
several principles implicated in 4th and
5thAmendment law (scope of Terry stop tantamount
to arrest, warrantless "arrest and/or search",
etc.]. The testimonial record simply doesn't support
these arguments for reasons stated ...