DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A Sangerville man’s motion to suppress evidence taken during an April 2009 search of his home — which led to his indictment for possession of sexually explicit materials involving children — has been denied by a judge.
Larry A. Daggett, 49, through his attorney, Marvin Glazier of Bangor, sought to show that his rights were violated when he made statements and evidence was seized during the search by the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit.
Superior Court Justice John Nivison’s denial of the motion now places Daggett’s case on the Superior Court trial list, likely for November.
Daggett allegedly permitted state and federal law enforcement officers who arrived last year at his Hudson Avenue home to interview him and conduct a search of his computers.
The home also was a day care business run by Daggett’s wife, Pam Daggett. The business has since closed, but police said at the time of Daggett’s arrest that nothing indicated the children enrolled in the day care were involved in his alleged activity.
According to information in the motion filed by Glazier, police informed Daggett when they arrived that they were investigating a computer-related child pornography matter. With Daggett’s consent, the detectives entered the home and asked to speak with him in a private area. Daggett directed the detectives to his basement, where he maintained an office. At that time, Daggett allegedly was told that he was not under arrest and that no one was going to jail so no Miranda warning was given at that point, according to the document.
When the detectives questioned Daggett, he allegedly admitted accessing pornography that depicted underage children, according to the document. With Daggett’s consent, the detectives searched two of his computers and a separate hard drive and then took the computers outside the home to a specialty van for a further search. When child pornography allegedly was discovered on a hard drive, Daggett was arrested.
In the motion to suppress, Daggett challenged the validity of his consent to permit the search of his computers, contending it was not voluntary and was based on a misleading statement made by the detectives. That statement referred to the fact that he was told no one was going to jail.
Nivison, in his decision on the motion, wrote that the detectives clearly explained the purpose of the contact and their intention that no arrests would be made.
“The fact that a law enforcement officer’s assessment might change as the result of the search does not render the consent involuntary,” Nivison wrote. The record established that the detectives decided to arrest Daggett only after the child pornography was discovered and only after Piscataquis County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy had been consulted, he noted.
Nivison also said that Daggett was not in custody at the time of the interview, so a Miranda warning was not necessary.