The Brockton Enterprise reports that last Friday members of a local drug task force arrested twenty to year old Katelyn Boutiette after what has been called a "months-long" investigation. Authorities believed that Boutiette might have been selling drugs in the greater Bridgewater area for the past year. The investigation resulted in the police obtaining and executing a Search Warrant at Boutiette's home. During the search police located Drug Distribution Paraphernalia as well as eight grams of class "A", enough to charge her with Possession With the Intent to Distribute Heroin. Boutiette's car was seized as evidence as well. The case is pending in the Brockton District Court.
As a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney there are many additional facts I would like to know about this case. What did the year or "months-long" investigation show? Was Boutiette seen distributing drugs? What are her drug habits? Is she a heroin user? Does she live alone or with someone else? Where were the drugs found during the search? Was anybody else present during the search, i.e. a friend or roommate? Was Boutiette present during the search? What information did the police have to get the Search Warrant in the first place? Was the warrant properly issued or is there a reasonable constitutional challenge to the search based on an absence of probable cause to search? The answers to these questions will likely guide the defense of this case.
So what happens to Boutiette? Suppression of the evidence seized during the search might occur if the search is declared unlawful. Or, if Boutiette does not have a criminal record then do not be surprised if the case gets continued without a finding. If Boutiette is able to show that she has a heroin habit then an acquittal of the charges is possible and a conviction for simple Possession of Heroin might be all that she faces. Certainly 8 grams of heroin can be consistent with personal use. The district attorney's office will disagree with this. They will call a witness (expert), usually an experienced drug detective to say that the quantity, possibly coupled with other factors is consistent with an intent to distribute. There is a flaw in that characterization however. Unless the detective knows the accused and his or her habits any testimony on this issue can be viewed as speculative. Furthermore, the defense attorney can ask the detective how many times he has testified that a particular quantity (eight grams) is consistent with something other than an intent to distribute. I will bet that the answer is never. That, in and of itself speaks to the integrity of that testimony. Make no mistake about it. Heroin habits can easily exceed the eight gram per day threshold. The possession of eight grams can be the product of a lesser habit as well. Using some of the product over a short period of time is not unusual and a reasonable explanation for the possession of this amount of the drug.
Our office has been defending people accused of committing drug crimes for over twenty years. Call us now at 617-263-6800 to inquire about your case. Feel free to email us as well. Attach a copy of your police report when possible so that we can intelligently discuss your case. We are ready to start your defense now.