Patrick O'Neill of Weymouth, Massachusetts was arrested last week and charged with Possession With Intent to Distribute Oxycodone, Distribution of Oxycodone, a School Zone Violation and Drug Conspiracy. An investigation into O'Neill's activities started several weeks. Neighbors complained to the police that they believed O'Neill was dealing drugs. Following up on their leads the police watched O'Neill and his home. They applied for and obtained a Search Warrant. Then, last Thursday afternoon police stopped O'Neill as he left his apartment. They searched him and found him in Possession of Oxycodone and cash. They then searched his home. They found more pills. All charges are pending in the Quincy District Court. Bail was set in the amount of twenty five thousand dollars.
Lawyers Who Defend Oxycodone Drug Offenses in Massachusetts
Every Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer who defends drug cases is seeing more and more cases like this one. The anonymous "complaining neighbor" is becoming a fixture in Massachusetts drug detective's police reports. From a legal perspective, the complaining neighbor takes on the status of an anonymous informant. This person's veracity must be established in order for the district attorney to survive a challenge to the issuance of the Search Warrant. To satisfy the veracity requirement, this type of information must be supported by precise detail and police corroboration of that detail. So what happened here? Assuming the police did actually receive the information from an anonymous neighbor they probably started watching O'Neill's apartment. Their subsequent observations must have led them to conclude that O'Neill was dealing drugs. They probably stopped and interrogated people they saw meeting with O'Neill and used this information to enhance their investigation. They may have used an undercover officer or known informant to engage in a controlled buy from O'Neill. If this happened the officer's observations would be provided in detail in their Affidavit in Support of the Application for a Search Warrant. Much of this can be confirmed or contradicted by O'Neill's lawyer if an attack on the Search Warrant is considered. If the police observations are simply general and conclusory suppression might be in order.
Sometimes the anonymous "complaining neighbor" does not exist. He is a fiction used by the police to help ensure that their Search Warrant Application is approved. Pretrial discovery motions and/or a private investigator can help to determine whether or not these people actually exist. Suspicious Search Warrant Affidavit can result is a dismissal of a criminal case or suppression of the drugs seized. It is a criminal defense lawyers' job to dig and challenge the information set out in these documents.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman defends cases like this one in Quincy, Dedham and all Norfolk County Courts. Call us if you are in trouble. You will need a lawyer if you are accused of committing a crime. We can be reached at 617-263-6800 or by email.