DECISION AND ORDER
William R. Stokes, Justice Maine Superior Court
matter before the Court is an appeal by Manny Sylvia, an
inmate at the Maine State Prison, from a disciplinary
proceeding that resulted in the imposition of sanctions
against him for the offense of "trafficking, " a
Class A violation. This appeal has been brought in accordance
with 5 M.R.S. §§11001-11008 (Administrative
Procedure Act) and M.R. Civ. P. 8OC.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
out in the Disciplinary Hearing Report dated March 21, 2017
and authored by Lt. Lidia Burnham, the facts are as
Between January 12 and February 2, fellow inmate Felix Gracia
had multiple phone conversations with his sister, Carmen,
regarding a transaction with "Ramon's nephew"
where Carmen was to buy "50 chickens for $600" from
Ramon's nephew. Lt. Burnham parenthetically interprets
"50 chickens for $600" to mean 50 strips of
Suboxone for $600. Fellow inmate Jose Ramon Quinones was also
in phone contact with his nephew during this time, discussing
a package and a woman in Connecticut, who Lt. Burnham
parenthetically notes as Carmen.
point, Gracia spoke with Carmen and told her to call the
"guy" and tell him to remove the tinfoil. According
to Lt. Burhnam's report, Suboxone comes in individual
packages with tinfoil on the inside.
package arrived to Carmen on January 26, and the same day,
Gracia called Jose Santiago and discussed arrangements to
pick "it" up. Gracia also asked Carmen to open the
packages and count "them." She said she only
received 45, and Gracia was upset because he paid $600 for
50. She told Gracia on February 2 that when the "guy,
" parenthetically noted as Santiago, showed up at her
house, she gave him 50.
February 4, Petitioner spoke with Santiago and asked if
"he still has it" or if it "is gone
already." Santiago said that he still had them.
February 6, Gracia called Santiago, who told him that
Petitioner was concerned about "the other guy." In
response, Gracia said that "Sylvia is just sleeping and
expecting everything to get to him without paying
attention." Santiago said he would speak with
Petitioner. On February 8, Gracia spoke with Santiago, who
gave him a new phone number just for him and Petitioner.
Suboxone had arrived at the prison by the time Lt.
Burnham's report was submitted on March 21.
March 21, Lt. Burnham's report was approved and forwarded
for investigation. (C.R. 4). An investigation was opened on
March 22, 2017. (C.R. 4). Petitioner was read the report and
charged with a trafficking violation. (C.R. 3, 4). Petitioner
did not make a statement in regards to the opening of the
investigation. (C.R. 4). On March 27, Petitioner received
notice of the hearing scheduled for March 30 and indicated
that he did not wish to call witnesses at the hearing.
appeal to MDOC states that he requested telephonic, forensic,
and physical evidence but the hearing officer (Capt. Abbott)
failed to acknowledge the request. (C.R. 10). Respondent
claims that no forensic or physical evidence exists.
(Resp.'s Br. 8). Since the request was not acknowledged,
no reason was given for the denial of the phone records.
Summary of Hearing, the space under the heading "name of
any witnesses and summary of testimony and any exhibits