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State v. Campbell

Superior Court of Maine, Kennebec

September 17, 2018




         Defendant has been charged with two counts of Aggravated Trafficking in Scheduled Drugs, Class A pursuant to 17-A M.R.S.A. § 1105-A(1)(E)(1). Before the court is Defendant's Motion to Suppress filed on June 4, 2018 and argued before this court on August 23, 2018.


         In November 2017, law enforcement officers, Officer Daryl Gordon and Detective Duane Cloutier of the Waterville Police Department (hereinafter "Waterville PD") apparently orchestrated controlled buys with the Defendant through the help of a confidential informant (hereinafter "CI") and a confidential defendant (hereinafter "CD"). At the Motion to Suppress Hearing, Detective Cloutier testified that the Defendant's previous girlfriend, Shantasia Bethea-Lucas, was a well-known alleged drug dealer in the Waterville area. Detective Cloutier became aware of Ms. Bethea-Lucas (also known by her street name "Olivia") in 2015, during a previous investigation. On November 1, 2017, a CI informed Detective Cloutier that Ms. Bethea-Lucas was again dealing cocaine in the Waterville area. Detective Cloutier had known the CI for about a year and knew that the CI had previously struggled from time to time with drug addiction. With the assistance of the CI, a controlled buy was set up and the CI bought crack cocaine from Ms. Bethea-Lucas and her boyfriend, who called himself "Tory." After the controlled buy was completed, the CI met up with Detective Cloutier again and provided the drugs purchased and a phone number for "Tory." After a field test, the substances given to Detective Cloutier from the CI were determined to be crack cocaine.

         On November 14, 2017, a second buy was planned after the CI contacted Detective Cloutier informing him that the CI would be able to buy from Ms. Bethea-Lucas at a new location. The CI also informed Detective Cloutier that the CI had been contacted by "Tory" after the first buy and he asked the CI to provide information to a third party in order to receive funds from Western Union. When "Tory" asked for the CI's assistance he informed the CI that his government name was Jahsun Campbell, the Defendant's name. Once Detective Cloutier received the Defendant's name, he conducted a Facebook search and found only one (1) person with the name "Jahsun Campbell" on the social media website. On the Facebook page there were around twelve (12) pictures of the Defendant in several positions. On November 15, 2017, Detective Cloutier sent a single picture from this Facebook profile to the CI via text message and asked if the CI recognized the person. The CI informed Detective Cloutier that the man in the Facebook picture was the Defendant, Jahsun Campbell.

         Officer Gordon organized a third buy on November 14, 2017 with a CD who had been contacted by Ms. Bethea-Lucas and the Defendant to buy crack cocaine. This CD was on probation for drug offenses and had a pending theft charge. The CD provided the telephone number of the person that contacted him. It was an exact match for the telephone number received by Detective Cloutier from CI for "Tory." Officer Gordon prepared the CD with a wire and observed the CD enter a building to conduct the third buy. Officer Gordon did not witness the actual buy, but did see the CD enter the building, remain for around thirty (30) minutes, and leave with crack cocaine. After the buy, Officer Gordon also showed the CD a picture of the Defendant from Facebook wherein the CD identified the man in the picture as Jahsun Campbell, also known as "Tory." The picture from Facebook which was viewed by the CI and CD for identification purposes was not preserved by law enforcement or presented at hearing as evidence.

         Nothing occurred in this matter until March of 2018 when the Defendant was arrested in Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine for a warrant regarding the Defendant's pending charges in New York. Officer Gordon submitted an Affidavit in Support of Probable Cause outlining the above controlled buys. An arrest warrant was granted and led to the Defendant to being transferred into Waterville PD custody. The Defendant was brought by Waterville police officers to the Kennebec County Sheriff's Department where he spoke to police.

         During this conversation, police and the Defendant discussed whether the Defendant had any valuable information that could be used by police. Officer Gordon informed the Defendant that if any of the information was helpful, they would forward it along to the District Attorney's Office to be considered in reference to the Defendant's charges. The Defendant offered to wear a wire, but Officer Gordon denied his request because he could not allow the Defendant to leave jail while he had a warrant. Thereafter, the conversation changed to the Defendant helping police convince Ms. Bethea-Lucas to assist them. The Defendant provided police with a code word to provide to Ms. Bethea-Lucas to help encourage her to assist police, but it was not successful and Ms. Bethea-Lucas did not assist police.

         Officer Gordon claimed the conversation was requested by the Defendant and was known as a debrief, or an informal conversation without the presence of attorneys to discuss valuable information a defendant may have. The conversation was not recorded by Waterville PD. Law enforcement did not use any information from the Defendant in other cases, and nothing further came out of the conversation between the parties. The Defendant wasn't asked about the facts involving his charges and he didn't offer an incriminating evidence in that regard.

         The Defendant brought this Motion to Suppress challenging the constitutionality of the photographic identification; the voluntariness of Defendant's statements; and any voice identification of the Defendant by police. Based on the evidence presented at the hearing, this court grants the Motion to Suppress in part and denies the Motion to Suppress in part.


         I. Constitutionality of Photographic Identification of Defendant by Confidential Informant and Confidential Defendant

         a. Suggestiveness of Identification Procedure

         When a court is presented with a challenge to the admission of an out-of-court identification under the due process clause, ...

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