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B23 AS (COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS HAMPDEN, ss. ‘SUPERIOR COURT CRIMINAL ACTION NO. 2014-06 ounty ‘COMMONWEALTR wapoes COUuRy SUPERS war 23 208 ws ANGEL GONZALEZ. (and companion cass!) Ciel & FINDINGS OF FACT, RULINGS OF LAW AND ORDER. ‘ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS (On March 31,2014, Angst Gonzalez, Evangeline Gonzalez, and Reynaldo Velazquez (te “defendants”, were each indicted for tacking in a controlled substance (Cocaine, 200 rams), in violation of GL. 94C, § 326(0\(4). Velazqus was also indicted for possesion of a frearm during the commission ofa felony in voltion of GL 6.265, § 188. Before the cout axe the defendants’ motions to suppres evidence seized from US. Postal Service express mail parcels pursuant to two search warrants. Specifically, the defendants contend that: (1) the seizures ofthe packages were not supported by reasonable suspicion; and (2) the supporting affidavits didnot tate adequate grounds to give ris to probable cause for issuance ofthe search vwatrans, In aditon, the defendants seck a Frans hearing to examine what they argue are false statements or intentional omissions within the supporting afidvits, regarding the eibilty of se trained nareoties detecting dog. See Frans v. Delaware, 438 US. 154 (1978), For the following reasons, the defendants’ motions to suppress and the requests for a Frans hearing are ‘DENIED. * Cammoneath. Brangelina Gonzales, Hampden Super Cou, Cina No. 2014-00339; Commonveathy. Reyna Velaquer, Hampden Superior Cour, riinl No 2014-00340, FINDINGS OF FACT (On February 26, 2015, this court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the defendants” ‘motions, where Postal Inspector Richard Tracy of the United States Postal Service testified. I {nd his testimony tobe credible in its entirety and I adopt it asa portion of my findings of fact. 1 make the following findings of fact based on te reliable evidence presented and the reasonable inferences dravn thereftom. Several months prior to January 2014, Inspector Tracy initiated an investigation ‘concerning a series of packages being sent from Puerto Rico to Holyoke. Due to his taining and ‘experience, Inspector Tracy recognized several indicating factors and patterns, that led him to believe that these packages contained controlled substances. Firs, Inspector Tracy noted that the packages were being sent from Puerto‘Rico, which is recognized as a “source area” forthe railing of controlled substances, specifically cocaine. These packages were seat ftom the same location, within minutes of each other, and sequences such as this are frequently associated with the mailing of controlled substances. Additionally, Inspector Tracy noted thatthe handwriting on ‘the labels ofeach package was similar in nature. Further, the names and addresses on each label ere different each time, but the same names and addresses rececurred throughout the investigation, Inspector Tracy believed thatthe varying names and addresses were used in an attempt to create anonymity and conceal the true identities ofboth the senders and the recipients Inspector Tracy also researched the names and addresses found on these packages, using Accurint? Accurint, a database used by the U.S. Post office during investigations, allows a + Acearat provides records sowing adresses that re szoited with specifi individuals, The adresses may be ster hough subscription owity companies, creditor reports, ankrty recordings. Inspectar Tracy ‘enone Thomas Rete's Ces, which recently became the U.S, Post Ofice's primary research daabase but was 2 ‘postal inspector to cross check whether or not person is associated with a specific address. ‘Through his research Inspector Tracy was not able to verify whether the names on the suspicious packages had been, or ever were, associated with the accompanying adresses. Moreover, Inspector Tracy, on two different occasions, personally visited an address that was under investigation. First, he visited 21 Bowers Street in Holyoke, which isthe address where packages adressed to Reynaldo Velazquez were being sent. He checked the residents log found on the interoom pane! on the front ofthe apartment building and noted that Reynaldo ‘Velazquea's name was not listed asa resident of any of the apartments inthe building. Ona separate occasion, Inspector Tracy visited 576 Southeast Street in Holyoke, where packages labeled for Angel Gonzalez and Evangelina Gonzalez were being sent. Inspector Tracy did not find the defendants’ names on the mailbox and confirmed with the mail carrier in the area that, ‘they were not known to have mail delivered to that address (On January 29, 2014 Inspector Tracy encountered two express mail packages that arrived atthe Springfield Post Office that were destined for Holyoke. ‘The first package was ‘addzessed to Evangelina Gonzalez, 9 Northeast Street, Apt 4D, in Holyoke. This package had return adress for Julia Gonzalez, HCOl Box 1530, Salinas, PR, 00751. The second package ‘was addressed to Angel Gonzalez, 576 Southeast Street, Apt. 2L, in Holyoke, The package had a return address for Pedro Gonzalez, HCOI Box 1530, Salinas, PR. 00751. Due tothe originating location; the usage of different names and addresses; Inspector Tracy’s familiarity with the ‘names used on the labels; the sequence in which the packages were sent; the similar handwriting ound on both packages; and the inability to confirm thatthe addressees were associated with ot wen this investigation ‘hose destined locations Inspector Tracy found the two packages tobe consistent with the suspicious pater of his investigation and removed th packages fom the stream of ml (On that same day of January 29,2014, afer seizing the packages, Inspector Tracy met with Massachusetts State Trooper Michael Baxter and his cenine partace Kios, atthe Springfield Post Office, to perform a canine examination on the packages. Trooper Baxter has worked with Kos for si years, they are bth certified to the New England State Police Administration Conference standards, and they perform required ongoing montly trainings in narcotics Aetecton. Kaos is certified in he detection of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and ther derivatives. Trooper Baxter and Kos have worked with Inspector Trey on previous invesigations tha have resulted in sueessful identifications of controlled substances within US. smalings. On this occasion, Inspector Tracy placed five packages within a secured hallvay that id not contain any contraband and Kios examined the packages without sletng to any contraband. After Kdos and Trooper Banter left the halla, one package was replaced withthe parcel addressed to Angel Gonzalez and upon a second examination, Kdos positively alerted to the package adressd tothe defendant by pawing and scratching att. This proces was repeated and the package addressed to Evangelina Gonzalez was inserted int the line up. Kaos again alerted tothe subject package, indicating the presence ofa controlled substance. (On January 30,2014, Inspector Tracy wrote and filed two affidavits in support of two search warants requesting to search the retained parcels for contolled substances. The warrants ‘wore authorized by United States Magistrate Judge Kenneth Neiman onthe same day and the resulting searches revealed four kilograms of cocaine inthe package addressed to Angel Gonzalez and two kilograms of cocaine in the package addressed to Evangelina Gouzalez. Also on January 30,2014, the defendants arrived at he Springfield Post Office and went othe customer service window, where they requested the two packages tissue. The three defendants ‘were subsequently arrested and transported to the Springfield Police Department RULINGS OF LAW ‘There is nothing inthe record to suggest tat the time the packages removed from the cndinary couse of mail handling there was any iavolvement by a State official, Therefore, the