Heard: February 11, 2016.
found and returned in the Superior Court Department on June
19 and 20, 2013, and March 6, 2014.
pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Raymond
P. Veary, Jr., J.
application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal
was allowed by Hines, J., in the Supreme Judicial
Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeal was reported
by her to the Appeals Court. The Supreme Judicial Court on
its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals
L. Blackman, Assistant District Attorney, for the
Michael J. Fellows for the defendant.
Present: Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk,
& Hines, JJ. 
causing a disturbance, the defendant was arrested outside his
hotel room in the town of Raynham on an outstanding warrant
for larceny of $250 or less. Raynham police took possession
of a small backpack (a cloth drawstring bag with shoulder
straps made of rope) that the defendant had been carrying on
his person and transported the bag, along with the defendant,
to the police station, where it was searched pursuant to the
Raynham police department's inventory policy. The search
of the bag uncovered several thousand dollars in cash,
glassine bags containing what appeared to be cocaine, and
several hundred Percocet pills. The defendant was indicted on
charges of trafficking in a class B substance (cocaine), G.
L. c. 94C, § 32E (b) (1); trafficking in a class B
substance (Percocet), G. L. c. 94C, § 32E (c0 (2); and
possession with the intent to distribute a Class B substance
(Percocet), G. L. c. 94C, § 32A (a.) . Following an
evidentiary hearing, the defendant's motion to suppress
the items found during the search was allowed by a Superior
single justice of this court granted the Commonwealth's
application for interlocutory appeal and reported the matter
to the Appeals Court. We transferred the case to this court
on our own motion. We conclude that, in the circumstances
presented here, there was no error in the allowance of the
defendant's motion to suppress. Accordingly, we affirm
the allowance of the motion, although for reasons that differ
somewhat from those relied upon by the motion judge.
forth the facts found by the motion judge, supplementing
those findings with uncontroverted evidence in the record
that was credited by the judge. See Commonwealth v.
White, 469 Mass. 96, 97 (2014), citing Commonwealth
v. Isaiah I., 448 Mass. 334, 337 (2007).
before noon on June 1, 2013, three officers of the Raynham
police department responded to a call regarding a disturbance
at a local hotel that allegedly involved the defendant. While
en route to the hotel, Sergeant David LaPlante learned from a
police dispatcher that the defendant was wanted on an
outstanding warrant for larceny of $250 or less. When the
officers arrived at the hotel, the desk clerk informed them
that the defendant had refused to leave his hotel room when
she informed him at the posted checkout time that it was time
to check out.
officers approached the defendant's room, they could hear
a male voice engaged in a conversation. They knocked on the
door and announced their presence. When the defendant opened
the door, LaPlante recognized him from prior encounters, most
recently an incident in which the defendant had been the
victim of a stabbing. As the defendant stepped out of the
room, he was speaking on a cellular telephone that he was
holding. LaPlante told him to drop the telephone, and the
defendant complied. LaPlante then told the defendant that he
was under arrest, asked him to turn around, and handcuffed
LaPlante conducted a patfrisk of the defendant to check for
weapons, he saw that the defendant was wearing a small cloth
backpack. LaPlante removed the defendant's handcuffs and
another officer, Lieutenant Brian Carr, took possession of
the backpack. LaPlante then again handcuffed the defendant.
The bag remained in Carr's custody as the officers
escorted the defendant to LaPlante's police cruiser. The
officers informed the defendant that he would be able to pick
up his belongings, including clothing and personal items that
had been left in the hotel room, at the hotel's front
desk after he was released. The defendant asked the officers
to secure a computer and a video game system that were in his
room, and they did so. The officers also asked the defendant
whether he had an automobile with him; he informed them ...