Man accused of burglarizing state police barracks garage claims his rights were violatedBy JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent
July 09. 2014 8:28PM
BRENTWOOD — A Northwood man accused of burglarizing the New Hampshire State Police barracks garage in Epping and removing drugs from his impounded car is asking a judge to throw out all evidence leading to his indictment.
Ryan Mackenzie, 29, is arguing that state police had no legal right to expand the scope of a Dec. 29, 2011, motor vehicle stop in Portsmouth that eventually led to the discovery of drugs in his car, according to his lawyer.
Mackenzie is preparing to go on trial on burglary and falsifying physical evidence charges for allegedly breaking into the Troop A barracks garage the day after his car was seized.
A cigarette pack that contained a “powdery white substance” was removed from the car during the break-in, according to prosecutors.
Public defender Anthony Naro argued in court papers that the suspected drugs were only found in the car because his client’s constitutional rights were violated during the vehicle stop.
Naro claims Trooper Tamara Hester did not meet the legal standard to expand her investigation into where Mackenzie was going and what he was doing once he was pulled over.
Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton argued in court papers that Mackenzie tried to elude Hester by speeding up once she activated her emergency lights.
The observations were enough to give the trooper enough legal grounds to continue questioning Mackenzie and extend the scope of her investigation, according to Bolton.
“To engage in evasive driving for a tail light violation is unusual,” Bolton said in court papers. “The defendant denied speeding up when the behavior was personally witnessed by the officer.”
The decision by Mackenzie to go trial came weeks after Interim Rockingham County Attorney James Boffetti revoked a plea agreement on Feb. 20 that would have given Mackenzie a six-month jail sentence.
State police told Boffetti that they were never consulted about the plea deal when it was offered by the prosecutor who originally handled the case.A police search dog alerted to drugs being present in his car after Mackenzie was pulled over along Woodbury Avenue in Portsmouth about 9 p.m.
State police did not have any leads into the burglary until Aug. 15, 2012.
A confidential informant told investigators that Mackenzie admitted to breaking into the police barracks to retrieve his drugs, prosecutors said. Investigators later recorded Mackenzie admitting to an informant that he carried out the burglary, Bolton said in court papers. A judge is expected to hear testimony on Monday in Rockingham County Superior Court to determine whether state police were acting within legal bounds during the vehicle stop.