State of Maine v. Pedro J. Rosario

MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT Reporter of Decisions Decision: 2022 ME 46 Docket: Aro-21-291 Argued: May 10, 2022 Decided: August 25, 2022 Panel: STANFILL, C.J., and MEAD, JABAR, HORTON, CONNORS, and LAWRENCE, JJ., and HUMPHREY, A.R.J.* STATE OF MAINE v. PEDRO J. ROSARIO STANFILL, C.J. [¶1] Pedro J. Rosario appeals from a judgment of conviction of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs (Class A), 17-A M.R.S. § 1105-A(1)(M) (2022), entered by the trial court (Aroostook County, Stewart, J.) after a jury trial. Rosario argues that the court erred in denying his motion to suppress and also erred with respect to enforcement of the court’s sequestration order, the jury instructions, and the sentence. We affirm. *Justice Humphrey sat at oral argument and participated in the initial conference while he was an Associate Justice and, as directed and assigned by the Chief Justice, is now participating in this appeal as an Active Retired Justice. 2 I. BACKGROUND [¶2] Rosario was indicted for aggravated trafficking in fentanyl powder in a quantity of six grams or more. See id. On October 30, 2020, Rosario moved to suppress evidence obtained on December 18, 2019, including incriminating statements he made, after the stop of a gray Kia Sorento in which Rosario was a passenger. [¶3] At the suppression hearing on January 11, 2021, three Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) Agents and two Maine State Police Officers testified. As detailed below, law enforcement testified about monitored telephone calls between Rosario and a confidential informant (CI) setting up a drug transaction for December 18, 2019, in Houlton. The court admitted Maine State Police Trooper Hunter Cotton’s video recording of the traffic stop of the Kia and emails from T-Mobile containing GPS data for a cell phone. In a written decision following the hearing, the court denied Rosario’s motion to suppress. Rosario moved for additional and amended findings and an amended order, and the court denied his motion. [¶4] The court held a jury trial on June 1-3, 2021. The State offered testimony from the relevant MDEA Agents, a drug chemist, and Kelvin Mosquea-Guillen. The evidence showed that while law enforcement was 3 still with the Kia at the side of the road, law enforcement also stopped a gray Toyota driven by Mosquea-Guillen; the illegal drugs were found in the Toyota. [¶5] Two packages were seized from Mosquea-Guillen’s vehicle, though only one package, weighing approximately 111 grams and containing fentanyl powder, was admitted into evidence.1 Mosquea-Guillen testified that Rosario had paid him to rent a car for Rosario and to drive his own vehicle to Houlton to pick up a person who would give Mosquea-Guillen money. The Kia in which Rosario was riding was searched and, although no contraband was seized from it, the search uncovered cell phones and a rental contract that the State used to connect Rosario to Mosquea-Guillen. Rosario did not testify and called no witnesses. The jury found Rosario guilty. [¶6] The court held a sentencing hearing on August 27, 2021, and sentenced Rosario to twenty-five years …

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