February 5, 2016.
Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court
Department on September 28, 2012.
pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by
Renée P. Dupuis, J., and the case was tried
before Robert J. Kane, J.
Bennion for the defendant.
Blackman, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.
Green, Hanlon, & Henry, JJ.
N.E.3d 444] Green, J.
various challenges to his conviction of trafficking in one
hundred grams or more of " crack" cocaine, in
violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32E, the defendant contends
that a search warrant authorizing a search of his apartment
did not extend to a free-standing shed in the back yard
outside the three-
unit apartment building. We conclude that the motion judge
correctly concluded that the shed was a part of the curtilage
of the apartment, so that the search authorized by the
warrant properly extended to the shed. Discerning no merit in
the defendant's other claims of error, we affirm.
summarize the findings of the motion judge on the
defendant's motion to suppress, reserving other facts for
our discussion of the defendant's other claims. On August
28, 2012, New Bedford police Officer Jason Gangi and other
members of the New Bedford police department executed a
search warrant authorizing a search of the third-floor
apartment at 101 Coffin Avenue and any persons present. The
building at 101 Coffin Avenue is a multifamily dwelling
consisting of three apartments. Police set up surveillance at
the target location. Two vehicles approached the location,
and the defendant was a passenger in one of the vehicles.
Police stopped the defendant and obtained a set of keys from
him. Using a key from the set, police
opened the door to the third-floor apartment. Within minutes
after gaining entry to the apartment, Officer Gangi went to
the back yard to search. The entire back yard was fenced.
While in the yard, Officer Gangi discovered a locked shed
and, using one of the keys on the key ring obtained from the
defendant, unlocked a padlock on the shed door and gained
access to the interior of the shed. Inside the shed, Officer
Gangi observed a black BMW motor vehicle, a dirt bike, some
tools, and a shopping bag. Officer Gangi determined that
another key on the key ring obtained from the defendant fit
the BMW. Officer Gangi also found and seized a substantial
quantity of cocaine [47 N.E.3d 445] hidden above a ceiling
panel within the shed.
other items found in and seized from the third-floor
apartment were rent receipts indicating that the defendant
rented the shed from the owner of the apartment building. In
the affidavit in support of the application for the search