United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER AFFIRMING THE RECOMMENDED DECISION OF THE
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court overrules a defendant's objection to the
recommended decision of the Magistrate Judge in which the
Magistrate Judge declined to suppress evidence obtained as a
result of the stop and search of a motor vehicle. The Court
rejects one of the defendant's objections because he
mischaracterizes the Recommended Decision and the Magistrate
Judge's finding is consistent with the record. The Court
rejects the other of the defendant's objections because
his distinction makes no difference. Having performed its
obligation to make a de novo review of the Recommended
Decision, the Court affirms the recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge and declines to suppress evidence from the
stop and search of the vehicle.
March 12, 2018, Jamie Betances moved to suppress the May 10,
2016 stop of a vehicle in which he was a passenger and the
subsequent search of the vehicle under the Fourth Amendment.
Def.'s Mot. to Suppress Vehicle Stop (ECF No.
439). The United States Magistrate Judge filed with the Court
on May 15, 2018 his Recommended Decision, in which he
recommended that the Court deny the motion (ECF No. 511)
(Recommended Decision). The Defendant filed his
objection to the Recommended Decision on May 29, 2018 (ECF
No. 523) (Def.'s Obj.).
JAMIE BETANCES' OBJECTIONS
A Mischaracterized Finding
Betances raises two objections to the Recommended Decision,
each attacking the factual basis for the recommendation. In
the first objection, Mr. Betances writes:
The Recommended Decision concludes that a “number of
people” were observed coming and going from the home
prior to the stop, and it was consistent with drug activity.
Recommended Decision at p. 2, 5. The record establishes that
only one vehicle came and went (twice) from the home before
the pick-up truck. There is no factual basis to conclude that
this activity was consistent with drug activity.
Def.'s Obj. at 3.
Betances' objection-either deliberately or
not-mischaracterizes the Magistrate Judge's finding. In
the Recommended Decision, the Magistrate Judge wrote:
addition, prior to the stop of the vehicle, law enforcement
observed a number of individuals come and go from
the residence, which movement is consistent with drug
Recommended Decision at 5. Mr. Betances disputes the
finding on the ground that “only one vehicle
came and went (twice) from the home before the pick-up
truck.” Def.'s Obj. at 3. But the
Magistrate Judge did not limit his finding to people in
vehicles. The stipulated record reveals the following coming
and going of people at the Berard residence; some in
vehicles, some not:
(1) 12:02 - white male dressed in a white tank top and dark
colored backpack and a female dressed in black exited the
residence and went into the drive and then returned into the
(2) 12:07 - two white males exited the Berard residence and
began walking on Center Road. The officer, who grew up in the
area, recognized one of the males as Scott Perry, a person
the officer knew while growing ...