AUGUSTA — An Augusta man sentenced to 18 years in prison on multiple drug trafficking charges asked the state supreme court Wednesday to overturn his conviction partly because he believes police tricked him into confessing to the crime.

Franklin F. Arbour Jr., 40, also wants the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to reverse rulings made prior to and during his trial last year.

Arbour was convicted of three counts of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, one count of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, aggravating cultivating of marijuana, and two counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drug.

Arbour, whose earliest release date from prison would be Oct. 20, 2028 was not present at the oral argument session.

Arbour’s attorney, Luann Calcagni, focused on rulings that allowed jurors to hear statements her client made at a police station after being told that his girlfriend was facing felony charges in connection with the drugs found at Arbour’s home.

Associate Justice Thomas Humphrey asked whether telling Arbour about the charges his girlfriend faced could be considered a psychological ploy on the part of police.

Arbour told police at the station that Angela Sousa had nothing to do with the drugs and that it was all him. Judge Evert Fowle later denied a motion to have the statement suppressed.

Sousa, 34, was indicted on six drug charges and pleaded guilty to a felony marijuana cultivation charge. She was placed on deferred disposition for a year, and 12 months later withdrew that plea. She then pleaded guilty to a seventh charge, a misdemeanor obstructing government administration in connection with the Sept. 17, 2014, raid and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Arbour, through his attorney, later maintained that his statement at the station was obtained in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel and should not have been admitted at trial.

Fowle said in his July 24, 2015, written decision, “The court cannot conclude that the actions of Detective (Eric) Dos Santos in providing the defendant with a summary of the evidence against him, and information as to the status of Ms. Sousa, constitutes a statement reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response, nor was such a statement calculated to do so.”

Arbour’s appeal also maintains there was no probable cause for the search warrant at his home.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

[email protected]