ROCKLAND, Maine — A Superior Court judge has rejected the effort of an Appleton man to get a full hearing to challenge a search warrant that led to his arrest on felony marijuana trafficking charges.
Justice Jeffrey Hjelm issued an order last week in Knox County Superior Court that denies the request by 35-year-old Christian “Will” Neils for a full “Frank” hearing. A Frank hearing would have allowed Neils to challenge the warrant that was used on Sept. 21, 2010, to search his property. As a result of evidence found during that search, Neils was charged with aggravated trafficking and felony possession of more than one pound of marijuana.
Justice Hejlm ruled that the defense did not provide sufficient evidence to warrant a full hearing. A brief hearing was held March 28 in which Neils’ attorney Leonard Sharon of Auburn attempted to convince the judge that a full hearing should be granted to show that Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agent Kirk Guerrette was not a credible witness and that this should ultimately lead to the search warrant being voided.
Hjelm, however, disagreed in his order. He said the only evidence provided were affidavits filed by Sharon that refer to claims by others about Guerrette and his alleged excessive use of the sleep aid Ambien. The judge ruled that some of the information in Sharon’s filings were about Guerrette’s alleged Ambien use at a time that had no bearing on the September 2010 search.