United States District Court, D. Maine
DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
E. Walker, United States District Judge
October 12, 2018, Jared Fogg was indicted on one count of
“knowingly and intentionally possess[ing] with the
intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, a
Schedule II controlled substance, ” in violation of 21
U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(viii).
Indictment (ECF No. 16). Fogg now moves to suppress evidence
gathered from the July 12, 2018 stop and search of a pickup
truck in which he was a passenger as well as all information
obtained as a result of the warrant to search three
cellphones recovered in the search of the truck. Mot. to
Suppress (“Motion”) (ECF No. 45). The motion is
parties do not contest the key facts. On July 11, 2018, the
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (“MDEA”) received a
call from a confidential source indicating that Jared Fogg
had rented Room 34 at the Briarwood Motor Inn in Lincoln,
Maine, and was there to sell illegal drugs. Response, Ex. 1
¶ 1 (ECF No. 51-1, #110). This source did not indicate
which type of drugs Fogg was allegedly selling, but the
source did notify MDEA that Fogg was joined by an
“Indian” male and was using a white Ford F250
pickup with Florida plates 578PMW. Id. The source
also told the MDEA agent that Fogg was carrying a firearm.
same day, the Lincoln Police Department received a complaint
from a co-conspirator who admitted to selling
“ice” or “crystal” methamphetamine
and heroin in the Lincoln area. Id. ¶ 9. This
co-conspirator informed police that he received his supply
from Fogg and provided details regarding when and where he
purchased drugs from Fogg . Id. That day, Lincoln
Police officers observed the co-conspirator and Fogg together
in the parking lot of the Briarwood Motor Inn. Id On
the morning of July 12, 2018, an MDEA agent observed a white
Ford F250 pickup with Florida registration matching the
confidential source's description at the Briarwood Motor
Inn. Id. Upon conducting a registration check on the
pickup, MDEA agents learned the truck was registered to two
men from Florida - one of whom was named Rogelio Rios.
Id. ¶ 2. MDEA officers showed a picture of Rios
to the confidential source and the source confirmed Rios
looked like the man accompanying Fogg. Id.
had been linked to drug activity in northern Maine on
multiple occasions prior to the July 12, 2018 traffic stop.
On July 13, 2017, a cooperating defendant supplied MDEA with
information that Fogg commonly travelled from Florida to
Maine and would remain in Maine for 2-3 weeks at a time in
order to sell crystal meth. Id. ¶ 6. This
informant indicated they had seen “Fogg with a gallon
sized Ziploc bag full of crystal meth and a large amount of
money spread out on the bed.” Id. On March 16,
2018, another cooperating defendant stated Fogg was the
methamphetamine source for the Houlton area. Id.
¶ 7. On July 3, 2018, a third cooperating defendant
stated Fogg was one of the “big fish” in the
Houlton crystal methamphetamine trafficking market and
indicated that Fogg drove a “new Florida plated white
Ford pickup.” Id. ¶ 8. Two of the
cooperating defendants indicated that Fogg commonly rented a
hotel room for the purposes of selling drugs. Id.
¶¶ 6, 8.
on the reports from the three cooperating defendants as well
as the information provided by the confidential source, MDEA
obtained a state search warrant on July 12, 2018, for Room 34
and set up surveillance at the Briarwood Motor Inn.
Id. ¶ 10; Response, Ex. 2 (ECF No. 51-2).
Throughout the course of the day, officers observed Rios
driving the truck as he made various stops at Walmart, Circle
K, and the Daigle Oil Company. Response, Ex. 1 ¶¶
12-13 (ECF No. 51-1). Officers then observed Rios pick up
Fogg from a residence in Houlton, after which Rios and Fogg
travelled to several residences and made multiple stops at a
local gas station. Id. ¶ 13. Rios and Fogg then
travelled to Mattawamkeag and stopped at a residence for
nearly an hour, during which time officers observed three
individuals outside the truck with the doors open,
“removing something from the vehicle.”
Id. ¶ 14. Fogg and Rios then returned to
Lincoln, stopped at the Lincoln Circle K, and ultimately
returned to the Briarwood Motor Inn. Id.
their arrival at the Briarwood Motor Inn, Lincoln Police
Officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.
Id. ¶ 15. Officers searched the white Ford
pickup and recovered various items including firearms and
illicit drugs. Response, 4 (ECF No. 51, #100).
Additionally, officers seized three cellphones. Id.
September 19, 2018, law enforcement officers received a
federal search warrant for the three cellular telephones
recovered during the July 12, 2018 stop and search. Response,
Ex. 3 (ECF No. 51-3). In support of the search warrant, the
MDEA submitted an affidavit detailing the July, 2018 events
and substantiating the Task Force Officer's belief, based
on his training and experience, that a search of the three
telephones would “yield evidence of contact and
association between and among narcotics traffickers,
customers and associates.” Id. ¶ 17.
makes three arguments in favor of his motion to suppress.
First, he contends that Maine Drug Enforcement Agency
(“MDEA”) agents “lacked reasonable and
articulable suspicion to stop the truck.” Motion 1 (ECF
No. 45, #81). Second, he argues that “law enforcement
lacked probable cause to arrest Mr. Fogg and the driver
immediately following the stop, and searched the vehicle
absent probable cause to arrest and without a warrant.”
Id. Third, he asserts that the cell phone
“search warrant affidavit lacked probable cause the
cellphones would contain evidence of a crime.”
Traffic Stop Supported by Reasonable and Articulable
Fourth Amendment guarantees the “right of the people to
be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and seizures.” U.S.
Const. amend. IV. When law enforcement officers stop an
automobile and detain its occupants, they have effectuated a
“seizure” that necessarily implicates the Fourth
Amendment. Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 653
(1979); see also United States v. Chhien, 266 F.3d
1, 5 (1st Cir. 2001). However, a “traffic stop”
is not violative of a defendant's constitutional rights
if the stop is supported by “a reasonable and
articulable suspicion of criminal activity” and the
detention is reasonable under the
circumstances. Chhien, 266 F.3d at 6 (citing
Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 439 (1984)).
suspicion requires “more than a naked hunch that a
particular person may be engaged in some illicit activity,
” but yet “does not require either probable cause
or evidence of a direct connection linking the suspect to the
suspected crime.” Id.; see also United
States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 7 (1989) (“The
officer, of course, must be able to articulate something more
than an ‘inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or
“hunch.””) (quoting Terry v. Ohio,
392 U.S. 1, 30 (1968)). The degree of reasonable suspicion
necessary to justify a traffic stop is “dependent upon
both the content of information possessed by police and its
degree of reliability.” Alabama v. White, 496
U.S. 325, 330 (1990). This standard looks to the particular
facts of the case and requires “broad-based
consideration of all the attendant circumstances.”
Chhien, 266 F.3d at 6 (citing Florida v.
Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 500 (1983)). Courts also routinely
apply the “collective knowledge” or “pooled
knowledge” principle, which allows for reasonable
suspicion to be “imputed to the officer conducting a
search if he acts in accordance with the direction of another
officer who has reasonable suspicion.” United
States v. Barnes, 506 F.3d 58, 63 (1st Cir. 2007).
reasonable suspicion is based on information from an
informant, courts consider whether the information
“bears sufficient ‘indicia of
reliability.'” United States v. Barnes,
506 F.3d 58, 64 (1st Cir. 2007) (quoting Adams v.
Williams, 407 U.S. 143, 147 (1972)). This determination
looks to “all the circumstances bearing upon the tip
itself and the tipster's veracity, reliability, and basis
of knowledge.” United States v. Romain, 393
F.3d 63, 71 (1st Cir. 2004). The First Circuit has adopted a
variable approach to the quantum of support for an
informant's testimony, stating: “[W]here informants
are known, a lesser degree of corroboration can be
required.” Barnes, 506 F.3d at 64. In adopting
this approach, the First Circuit cited the Supreme
Court's decision in Adams ...