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United States v. Betances
United States District Court, D. Maine
May 15, 2018
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
JAMIE BETANCES, Defendant
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON MOTION TO SUPPRESS
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant's motion to
suppress evidence obtained during and as the result of the
stop of a motor vehicle in which Defendant was a passenger on
May 10, 2016. (Motion, ECF No. 439.) Defendant contends law
enforcement officers lacked the requisite suspicion to stop
a review of the record, and after consideration of the
parties' arguments, I recommend the Court deny the motion
Findings of Fact
material facts are largely uncontroverted. Based on the
record evidence,  I recommend the Court find the following
1. On May 10, 2016, upon receiving a report of suspicious
activity, members of the Gardiner (Maine) Police Department
made contact with a motor vehicle in which Jeff Berard and
Heatherly Wing were located. After a brief investigation, Mr.
Berard and Ms. Wing were arrested.
2. Mr. Berard expressed a desire to speak with members of the
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA). Special Agents from
MDEA then met with Mr. Berard.
3. Mr. Berard told an agent that he had been working with a
man named “Coast” from Rochester, New York, to
distribute heroin and crack cocaine in Maine. According to
Mr. Berard, his residence on Center Road in Fairfield, Maine
(the residence) was used as a stash house for the storage of
heroin and crack cocaine until the drugs were distributed.
4. Mr. Berard also informed law enforcement that he had
approximately $150, 000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine
hidden in the residence in a green duffel bag and that a male
named Wes was in the residence with the drugs.
5. Based on the information provided by Mr. Berard, law
enforcement requested and obtained a state search warrant to
search the residence, and any motor vehicles that Mr. Berard,
Ms. Wing or Wes were operating or in which vehicles they were
passengers at the time of the execution of the warrant.
6. In anticipation of the issuance of the warrant, MDEA
agents conducted surveillance of the residence. The agents
observed a number of people going in and out of the
7. At approximately 5 p.m. on May 10, an agent observed a
pick-up truck arrive at the residence. Law enforcement knew
the truck to belong to a person known to be involved in drug
activity. The agent did not identify the suspected owner of
the vehicle as the operator of the truck.
8. The operator of the truck entered the residence. Shortly
thereafter, the operator left the residence and placed
multiple backpack-type bags in the truck. The operator then
entered the vehicle and another person got into the passenger
side of the vehicle.
9. Upon observing the operator and passenger get into the
truck, through a radio communication, the agent asked local
law enforcement officers to stop the vehicle. Law enforcement
engaged their emergency lights approximately .2 of a mile
from the residence, and stopped the vehicle approximately .4
to .45 ...
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