United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
C. NIVISON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's motion to
suppress evidence obtained following a search of his
residence on March 18, 2016. (Motion, ECF No. 28.) In
particular, Defendant seeks to exclude evidence obtained as
the result of the search of a laptop computer, a cell phone,
and a secure digital (SD) card, which items law enforcement
obtained during the search of Defendant's residence.
Defendant contends the search of the items was unlawful
because law enforcement officers did not have a warrant to
search the items and because the officers lacked reasonable
suspicion to seize and search the items.
an evidentiary hearing on the motion, and after consideration
of the parties' arguments, I recommend the Court deny
Defendant's motion to suppress.
Findings of Fact
on the evidence presented at the hearing, which evidence
includes the parties' stipulation (ECF No. 44), I
recommend the Court find the following facts:
1. On March 3, 2006, Defendant was convicted in Maine state
court of gross sexual assault of a child under the age of 12.
The state court sentenced Defendant to a 15-year term of
imprisonment, with all but 8 years suspended. Defendant was
also sentence to a 10-year period of probation to be served
upon his release from prison.
2. On December 18, 2014, with Defendant's consent,
Defendant's probation conditions were amended to provide
that Defendant shall:
Not view, listen to, or possess pornographic, sexually
explicit, or provocative acts, performances, or materials in
any form, and submit to random search of your person,
residence, vehicles, and all other spaces and materials,
including electronic equipment and storage and display
mediums under your custody or control for evidence of such
materials or activities.
3. On March 18, 2016, Defendant was subject to the conditions
of his probation, as amended.
4. In March 2016, Detective Mark Fucile of the Lincoln
(Maine) Police Department maintained an alias Facebook
account in order to monitor activity and individuals in the
area. As part of this effort, Detective Fucile noted a post
from an individual named Derrick Beal. In the post, Mr. Beal
asserted that a sex offender from Lincoln had hacked his
5. As the result of the post, Detective Fucile learned that
Defendant was the offender to whom Mr. Beal referred. During
a subsequent conversation with Detective Fucile, Mr. Beal
reported that his girlfriend, Andrea Fowler, used to date
Defendant and that Defendant had previously hacked Ms.
Fowler's Facebook account. Mr. Beal provided Detective
Fucile with Ms. Fowler's contact information.
6. Ms. Fowler told Detective Fucile that she dated Defendant
for approximately two months. She reported that she ended the
relationship in March 2015 after she found Defendant in his
vehicle in her driveway “touching himself” while
watching child pornography on his phone. When she found him,
Defendant asked Ms. Fowler if she wanted to watch the video,
which Ms. Fowler said appeared to depict the sexual assault
of a minor child. When Ms. Fowler said she did not want to
watch the video, Defendant took what Ms. Fowler described as
“a thumb drive” out of his phone and placed it in
the console of the vehicle. Ms. Fowler stated that she never
reported the incident to law enforcement because Defendant
threatened her if she did so.
7. Detective Fucile then contacted state probation to report
the information he learned from Ms. Fowler. Dennis Haislet is
the probation officer assigned to Defendant. Officer Haislet
decided to conduct a search at Defendant's residence for
the “thumb drive.” Detective Fucile had
previously assisted Officer Haislet on inspections of
8. On March 18, 2016, Officer Haislet, accompanied by six
other law enforcement officers, appeared at Defendant's