Heard: October 2, 2017.
found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May
12, 2015. A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by
Edward J. McDonough, Jr., J.
application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal
was allowed by Barbara A. Lenk, J., in the Supreme Judicial
Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeal was reported
by her to the Appeals Court.
R. Goodhines for the defendant.
Benjamin Shorey, Assistant District Attorney, for the
Present: Vuono, Meade, & Kinder, JJ.
defendant has been charged with various narcotics and firearm
offenses. Following an evidentiary hearing, a Superior Court
judge denied, in large part, the defendant's motion to
suppress evidence. The defendant's application to pursue
an interlocutory appeal was allowed by a single justice of
the Supreme Judicial Court, who reported the matter to this
appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the judge erred in
concluding that the Springfield police officers had
reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant's vehicle and
to pat frisk him, (2) the subsequent warrantless search and
seizure of heroin and a firearm from a second motor vehicle
was not supported by probable cause or any exception to the
warrant requirement, and (3) the police officers lacked
authority to conduct the second search outside the city of
Springfield. Because we conclude that the Springfield police
exceeded their territorial jurisdiction in the execution of
the second vehicle search, we reverse so much of the order as
denied the motion to suppress evidence seized during that
summarize the pertinent facts from the judge's findings
on the motion to suppress, supplemented where appropriate by
uncontroverted suppression hearing testimony that the judge
explicitly or implicitly credited. See Commonwealth v.
Jones-Pannell, 472 Mass. 429, 431 (2015). In April of
2015, Springfield police Officer Jaime Bruno, a narcotics
investigator with fifteen years' experience, was told by
a confidential informant that on April 15, 2015, an
individual named "Gio, " later identified as the
defendant, would make a large delivery of heroin at the
intersection of Liberty Street and Denton Circle in East
Springfield at about noon that day. According to the
informant, Gio would be driving a black Mini Cooper
automobile, and the informant provided the license plate
number. The informant, with whom Officer Bruno had been in
"constant communication" for the preceding seven to
eight months, had previously provided information to Officer
Bruno that resulted in numerous seizures and arrests. The
informant told Officer Bruno that he had purchased heroin from
Gio at that same intersection on several occasions, and also
within the last seventy-two hours at Gio's residence at
the Toll House Apartments in West Springfield. Other officers
confirmed that the defendant lived at the Toll House
Apartments, and informed Officer Bruno that the defendant
also had a residence at 122 Beauregard Terrace in Chicopee.
Springfield police had previously received complaints that
nonresidents of the area were congregating at the
intersection of Liberty Street and Denton Circle. On the
morning of April 15, 2015, Officer Bruno went to that
location to see for himself. He observed two individuals
standing at the intersection whom he had previously arrested
for heroin offenses.
that morning, at approximately 10:00 A.M., surveillance
officers observed the defendant and a Hispanic male leave the
Toll House Apartments, place two large plastic containers in
the back seat of the Mini Cooper, and drive it to 122
Beauregard Terrace in Chicopee. There, the defendant
approached a red Honda automobile parked at the end of the
driveway, opened the trunk with a key, and retrieved a black
plastic bag the size of a softball. He then reentered the
Mini Cooper and drove in the direction of East Springfield.
police followed in unmarked vehicles. When the Mini Cooper
was within approximately two miles of the intersection of
Liberty Street and Denton Circle, the defendant began driving
in an erratic manner. He drove up and down a number of side
streets with no apparent destination, suddenly stopping and
then accelerating beyond the speed limit. This unusual
driving caused Officer Bruno, based on his ...