Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Gifford

Superior Court of Maine, Kennebec

August 15, 2017

STATE OF MAINE
v.
ASHER GIFFORD, Defendant.

          ORDER ON MOTION TO SUPPRESS

         This matter comes before the court on the Defendant's Motion to Suppress all evidence obtained as a result of a search of his residence located at 368 Bog Road, Albion, Maine that occurred on June 20, 2016 and all statements that he made as a result of an interrogation that occurred on that same day. An evidentiary hearing was held over parts of two days on May 18, 2017 and June 21, 2017. Any findings of fact in this order are based on the evidence presented at that hearing.

         Search

         The search at issue in this matter was conducted pursuant to an appropriately issued warrant supported by probable cause. The search warrant described the place to be searched as:

Property/Premises to be searched:
1. The premise to be searched, 368 Bog Rd. in the town of Albion, County of Kennebec, Maine. The Premises are described as a trailer with white vinyl siding and black shutters. The attached image was taken by Det Bosco of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit on or around June 7, 2016.
2. Any vehicles at the residence belonging to or under control of any residents of 368 Bog Rd. Albion, Maine 04910.
3. Any outbuildings with the residence at 368 Bog Rd. Albion, Maine 04910.

         When law enforcement officers executed the warrant, they entered the trailer with white vinyl siding and black shutters and found that the trailer was basically empty. It did not appear that anyone was residing in the trailer and no evidence was obtained from inside the trailer.

         The officers also found on the premise a camper that was set up on jack stands on a pad. The camper was connected to utilities including water, electricity, gas, and telephone/internet. The officers searched the camper and discovered the contraband that the Defendant seeks to have suppressed in his motion.

         Also located on the premise on June 20, 2016 was an older singlewide mobile home that officers believed was not then being used as a residence. There were also two stick-built structures on the premises - a small garage and a larger outbuilding. No evidence was seized from these structures. All of the structures on the property, including the camper, can be seen from the public road.

         The Defendant argues that because the warrant described "a trailer with white vinyl siding and black shutters" and the camper was effectively a second residence on the premises not specifically described, the camper was not covered by the warrant. In effect, the Defendant argues that the warrant was limited to "a trailer with white vinyl siding and black shutters" and any associated vehicles or outbuildings.

         As the Law Court has said, "when a defendant moves to suppress evidence alleging that the State has exceeded its authority pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, the burden of articulating facts sufficient to demonstrate the possible illegality of the search or seizure rests with the defendant." State v. Reynoso-Hemandez, 2003 ME 19, ¶ 6, 816 A.2d 826, 829 (citing State v. Desiardins, 401 A.2d 165, 169 (Me. 1979)).

         The validity of a search warrant depends on whether it is supported by probable cause - not an issue in this case - and whether the warrant contains a description of the property to be searched that is sufficiently specific so as to enable the officers executing the warrant to understand the precise scope of the search authorized. "A warrant must describe the property to be seized with such particularity that an executing officer will be able to identify it 'with certainty." State v. Pelletier, 673 A.2d 1327, 1329 (quoting State v. Sweatt, 427 A.2d 940, 949 (Me. 1981)).

         In this case, the description of the place to be searched as "[t]he premises . . . 368 Bog Rd. in the town of Albion, County of Kennebec, Maine" is sufficient to enable the officers executing the warrant to understand the precise scope of the search authorized. Law enforcement was authorized to search the premises at 368 Bog Rd. in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.