Submitted On Briefs: October 24, 2017
W. Tebbetts, Esq., Smith & Associates, Presque Isle, for
L. Sullivan John M. Pluto, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial
District No. 8, Caribou, for appellee State of Maine
SAUFLEY, C.J., and MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY,
David L. Sullivan appeals from a judgment of conviction for
aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs (Class A), 17-A
M.R.S. § 1105-A(1)(I) (2017), unlawful possession of a
scheduled drug (Class C), 17-A M.R.S. § 1107-A(1)(B)(3)
(2017), and unlawful possession of oxycodone (Class C),
17-AM.R.S.§1107-A(1)(B)(4) (2017), entered by the court
(Aroostook County, Stewart, /.) following a jury
trial. Sullivan argues that the court [Soucy, J.)
erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence that was
found in the curtilage of his home and that the trial court
abused its discretion when it denied his motion to exclude
other evidence on the basis of a discovery violation. We
affirm the judgment.
After conducting a hearing on Sullivan's motion to
suppress, the court found the following facts, which are
supported by the record viewed in the light most favorable to
the court's order. See State v. Kierstead, 2015 ME
45, ¶ 2, 114 A.3d 984. On March 27, 2013, a
woman was arrested outside of a Bangor motel
after attempting to buy a large quantity of oxycontin pills.
Her arrest gave rise to probable cause to search her home in
Caribou, which she shared with Sullivan. Two law enforcement
officers, a special agent from the Maine Drug Enforcement
Agency and a sergeant from the Aroostook County Sheriff's
Office, went to the Caribou home pending issuance of a search
warrant. Their purpose in going to the home was to conduct a
"security check" and thereby prevent the
destruction of evidence and ensure the safety of officers
arriving at the home with the anticipated warrant.
Sullivan's Caribou home is a mobile home with a porch on
the front and an addition extending from the back. It is
located down a long driveway and is surrounded by woods. When
the officers arrived at the home shortly after 7:30 p.m., it
was dark outside, and they observed several security cameras
mounted around the house.
The officers knocked on the front door and announced their
presence. A dog barked from inside the house, but no one
answered. The officers then left the front porch and walked
around the house to see if there was a rear door. As they
walked around the side of the house, within a few feet of the
home, the officers came upon two plastic shopping bags that
were sitting on the ground. The bags were nearly translucent,
and it was immediately apparent that they contained drug
paraphernalia. The bags emitted a strong odor of marijuana.
Because the bags sat atop fresh snow and had no footprints
around them, it appeared that they had recently been thrown
from a window. The officers took the bags back to their
vehicle, searched the bags' contents, and discovered
contraband. Eventually, the home was searched on the basis of
the warrant obtained that evening.
A year later, on March 7, 2014, Sullivan was charged by
indictment with trafficking and possession. He pleaded not
guilty to all charges and moved to suppress the evidence of
the two bags discovered outside of his home. After a hearing,
the court [Soucy, J.) denied the
Almost three years after the indictment, the court
[Stewart, /.) held a three-day jury trial in January
2017. Immediately before trial, Sullivan moved
to exclude the testimony of a pharmacist as a discovery
sanction on the ground that the State had substituted the
witness for another pharmacist the day before trial. The
court denied the motion, the pharmacist testified, and
Sullivan cross-examined her vigorously.
The jury found Sullivan guilty of all three charges. The
court sentenced him to twelve years of imprisonment with all
but four years suspended and three years of probation for the
aggravated trafficking charge. The court also sentenced
Sullivan to one year of imprisonment for each of the other
charges, to be served concurrently with the sentence for
aggravated trafficking. Sullivan timely appealed.
See 15 M.R.S. § 2115 (2017); M.R. App. P.
2(b)(2)(A) (Tower 2016).
Denial of the ...