Articles Posted in Drug Crimes

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Drugs Found in Hidden Compartment

It is very common for me to represent someone pulled over for a motor vehicle infraction and ultimately charged with drug trafficking. I am convinced that most of these cases originate from a hunch; i.e. person of color driving a car in a predominantly white neighborhood. Or, they are Hispanic and Black people stopped at the Massachusetts border simply because they are of color. The scenario is similar. Pull them over and start searching the car without probable cause. A repetition of this pattern is bound to bear results. And guess what? On some occasions drugs are found in a hidden compartment in the car. No matter who hires me, the driver or one of the passengers, I get the same question: is this case provable? Continue reading →

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Heroin and Cocaine Trafficking Defense Attorney Fighting Racial Profiling

Anyone coming into Massachusetts from the New York area and heading into eastern Massachusetts is probably going to use Route 84 with the intention of getting on the Massachusetts Turnpike. A significant number of the people using this route find themselves pulled over just after entering Massachusetts. Many of them are astounded at their introduction to this state. They get pulled over. They are asked for their license and registration. They are detained at the point of the stop of an inordinate period of time. Then, without explanation they are forced to get out of their car. They are searched. The car is searched. And, if there are illicit substances in the car or on their person they get charged. Continue reading →

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Dudley District Court Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney

The courthouse in Dudley serves the Worcester County towns of Sturbridge, Southbridge, Oxford, Charlton, Dudley and Webster. Route 90 crosses this jurisdiction as does Interstate 84. For a rather quiet, rural jurisdiction the amount of drug cases that pass through this court is incredible. Our Boston office is about an hour and a half drive to the town of Dudley. Yet despite the distance we are retained on several serious drug cases in this court each year. Most of these cases involve drug trafficking; usually heroin and sometimes cocaine. While Dudley District Court is where many drug trafficking cases originate, most are resolved in the Superior Court in Worcester. Recent observations about the origins of many of our Dudley drug cases has prompted me to publish this post. Continue reading →

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The Fine Line Between Drug Dealer And Drug User

In Massachusetts as in most states there is a fine line between drug dealer and drug user. When people think of drug dealers they usually think about two types of people. One, the street dealer who sells small quantities and makes money on volume. Two, the major trafficker who sells drugs in multiple kilos or pounds. Today, especially with opiates such as heroin or oxycodone, the more common drug dealer is the person who sells just enough to support his or habit. Defending people falling into this category should be pretty easy, right? Guess again. District attorneys are rarely sympathetic to this situation and prosecutions are approached aggressively. Continue reading →

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Mandatory Minimum Sentences May Be On The Way Out

Just two days ago an article on revealed a bold and hopefully accurate prediction by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants . . . that mandatory minimum sentences will be repealed. A decade or two ago a majority of the Massachusetts criminal defense bar could not imagine this would ever become a real discussion. However, less than three years ago mandatory minimum sentences for some drug crimes were reduced and the threshold weight of drugs for certain trafficking offenses was increased. Perhaps the legislature now understands what Justice Gants’ means when he stated that abolishing these types of sentences “makes fiscal sense, justice sense, policy sense and common sense”. Continue reading →

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Texting and Driving in Massachusetts

Recently my office has seen a rash of criminal cases originating when the operator of a motor vehicle is stopped for suspicion of texting while driving. The newly enacted law, G.L. c. 90 Section 13B states that anyone caught sending or reading an electronic message while driving will be fined. Fines range from one hundred dollars for a first offense to two hundred fifty dollars for a second offense and to five hundred dollars for a third and all subsequent offenses. Unlike an OUI case, operation for this statute does not include texting while a vehicle is stationary. The police are jumping on this law as justification for stopping people they suspect are up to something other than simply texting. The stops are resulting OUI complaints and various Massachusetts drug crimes charges. Luckily, the law against texting and driving in Massachusetts is one that is difficult to prove and a large majority of these stops will be suppressed. Continue reading →

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Getting A Heroin Conspiracy and Possession Case Dismissed

Heroin has become the most problematic drug for prosecutors to deal with in Massachusetts. The number of heroin possession arrests builds everyday. No community is immune. From the most impoverished cities to the most affluent suburbs heroin use and addiction to the drug has run rampant. There is however a lack of consistency in the resolution of these cases from court to court in the Commonwealth. Getting a heroin conspiracy and possession case dismissed can be routine and easy for your lawyer in some courts and an extremely arduous endeavor in others. This post examines how some courts handle these cases and what you should expect from your lawyer if you are charged with a heroin related drug crime in Massachusetts. Continue reading →

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Selling Heroin

During the course of an unrelated investigation police in Methuen, Massachusetts saw Jose Quesada get into a car bearing New Hampshire license plates. The officers followed the car and learned that the driver, a Salem man had a suspended license. The officers made an inquiry and found the driver in possession of heroin. He was charged with heroin possession and a motor vehicle crime. Meanwhile, the man admitted that he purchased the drugs from Quesada. Quesada was arrested and charged with selling heroin and possession of heroin. The case in pending in the Lawrence District Court. Continue reading →

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Will I Go To Jail For Selling Marijuana?

Since marijuana possession of up to an ounce was decriminalized in Massachusetts more and more people have been taking liberties with their use and distribution of the drug. There is a false sense of security that prevails among young people in particular that using and distributing marijuana is legal. People hide under the “protection” of medical marijuana cards. They openly and publicly smoke the drug. And yes, many people have created small businesses where they sell pot for profit or simply to pay for their personal supply. So it is not surprising that marijuana sales prosecutions are becoming more common these days. The defendants are mostly young kids, ages eighteen to thirty. When they get caught and face charges the first thing they ask me is “will I go to jail for selling marijuana?”. This post answers this question. Continue reading →

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Default On Probation

Being on probation is in some instances worse than having an open case. You will likely have obligations to the probation department that have been ordered by the Court. You might have to pay monthly fees. You may have to make restitution payments on a regular basis. You could be obligated to report weekly, monthly or even daily. Drug testing or psychological evaluations are possibilities. You might have to abstain from otherwise legal activities as a condition of probation. If you do not comply with the court ordered conditions your probation officer can issue a probation violation notice requiring you to go to court and explain why you have failed to honor your probation obligations. If you then fail to appear in court a warrant will issue. If you are in default on probation and there is an outstanding warrant there are some things you can do to help yourself. Continue reading →