ELLSWORTH — The attorney for a Connecticut man charged with aggravated trafficking in heroin contends law enforcement officers had no probable cause to stop his client’s vehicle in Trenton on Sept. 23.
Donald Brown, attorney for Ronald Golden, 31, of Meriden, Conn., has filed a motion in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court arguing that all evidence and statements involving his client be suppressed and excluded from any trial.
Brown argued that there was no “reasonable articulable suspicion” for Maine Marine Patrol officers to pursue and stop the vehicle driven by Golden.
According the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) reports at the time, Specialist Sean Dow and Officer Richard Derboghosian of the Maine Marine Patrol stopped the vehicle on Route 230 for erratic operation and found Golden’s driver’s license was suspended and that the three passengers all had bail conditions. The officers quickly “recognized there was potential drug involvement” and called the MDEA and Hancock County Sheriff’s Office for assistance.
During a search, agents reportedly seized 200 prepackaged bags of heroin with an estimated street value of $8,000 and about $1,100 in cash.
Golden and a passenger, Austin Kleffman, 28, of Trenton, each were charged with Class A aggravated trafficking in heroin. Another passenger, Ajha Stanley, 20, of Tremont, was charged with Class D unlawful possession of heroin and violating the conditions of her release. A fourth person in the vehicle was not charged.
Brown is claiming that other constitutional rights were violated after Golden’s vehicle was stopped for no legal reason. He claims Golden was questioned by police in violation of his 6th Amendment Miranda rights and that Golden and his vehicle were searched in violation of 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.
Golden also is seeking to have his bail conditions amended. In a separate motion, Brown is asking the court to amend Golden’s bail conditions to a personal recognizance bail so that Golden may enter an inpatient treatment facility. As an alternative, Brown wrote, the court could place Golden on personal recognizance bail with the “conditions that he wear a bracelet, have curfew restrictions, report every day to local law enforcement and reside with family in Maine.”
A judge is expected to hear both motions in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court this week.
Golden was indicted Dec. 8 by a Hancock County grand jury on two counts of Class A aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs, two counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and two counts of criminal forfeiture.
According to the indictment, Golden was convicted in April 2012 of possessing narcotics in Meriden, Conn. The criminal forfeitures involve the cash seized during the Sept. 23 stop in Trenton and a 9 mm handgun seized the following day in Lincoln.