Eleven Arrested, Ten From Massachusetts After Local Cocaine Drug Trafficking Investigation Yields Over 500 Grams, Conspiracy Charges Filed
According to an article in the Melrose Patch, eleven people were arrested and charged with various Massachusetts Drug Crimes including Trafficking Cocaine Over 200 Grams. Ten of the individuals are from Massachusetts. The investigation began in March. Official were looking into activities of a Boston North End man who was alleged to have run the drug network. He allegedly dealt out of an accomplice's apartment in Boston and Revere. In June Search Warrants were obtained resulting in the seizure of over five hundred grams of cocaine and seventy five thousand dollars cash. The article and the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office press release identify the following defendants: Gerald Esposito of Boston, Steven Tracia of Revere, Kettia Piris of Revere, Anthony Giannetti of Revere, Adam Saggese of Melrose, Marino Velasquez of Revere, Anthony Vigorito of Boston, Ferdinando Daniele of Revere, Anthony Ascenzo of Boston, Salvatore Lazzari of Winthrop and Paul Mattarese of Maine. Charges range and vary from defendant to defendant and include Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substances Laws, Trafficking Over 100 Grams of Cocaine, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, Possession of Cocaine, Trafficking Over 200 Grams of Cocaine, Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone and more. The cases are being prosecuted in the Suffolk Superior Court.
In cases like this rarely do all eleven defendants go to trial. Many of the defendants are charged with crimes that do not contemplate mandatory minimum sentences. Depending on their records they may be able to resolve the case with probation or perhaps a continuance without a finding. All of this depends of course on the extent of their involvement in the operation. The defendants facing Drug Trafficking Charges are in a more difficult predicament. They will either have to get the items seized suppressed, plea bargain their cases down to something less than the crime with which they are charged or go to trial. In cases like this there are almost always varying levels of culpability from defendant to defendant. Each defendant's defense will be unique and there is always the risk of finger pointing. Sometimes one of the defendants, usually one who possesses substantial information about the operation and a lesser amount of culpability with cooperate with the prosecution against the others. I expect you will see lots of evidentiary motions filed in this case. I also expect that one by one these cases will be resolved leaving one or two left to go to trial. These cases also become a managerial nightmare for judges and court staffs. It is nearly impossible to get eleven criminal defense lawyers together for hearings, motions, status conferences and related court appearances.
Sometimes in larger cases you see a lawyer representing more than one defendant. Rarely is this a good idea. At a minimum I believe it is necessary to consult with your own lawyer. Oftentimes conflicts of interest arise as cases progress making the representation of multiple parties controversial. These conflicts may not be apparent at the time of arraignment or when the initial discovery materials are produced. However, once they become evident you can be at risk if you and someone with a competing defense had the same criminal attorney.