Articles Posted in Trafficking OxyContins

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According to a report in the Quincy Patriot Ledger a Quincy, Massachusetts police officer saw what he determined to be “suspicious behavior” at 2:30 in the afternoon in a residential neighborhood. The newspaper report says that the officer believed that two men sitting in a parked car were “acting suspicious”. The men were identified as Raul Fontana of Lawrence, Massachusetts and Harrich Garcia of Haverhill, Massachusetts. The officer also observed that the address where the car was parked, 10 Earnest Avenue, appeared to have been broken into. The belief was that there might be a break-in in progress and that perhaps these two men were involved. The officer searched both men. Fontana was found in possession of an unspecified quantify of Oxycontin. A third individual, Ely Thevenot exited the home with a shoebox. Police searched him and the box and found about ten thousand dollars cash. Another man, Jose Rosario was found hiding in a car nearby. Officers searched the home and found more Oxycontin. Two other people who were in the house at the time were not charged with any crimes. All four men have been charged with Trafficking Oxycontin, a Class A substance, Drug Conspiracy and Possession With the Intent to Distribute a Counterfeit Substance. The case is pending in the Quincy District Court but will probably be prosecuted in the Norfolk County Superior Court in Dedham.

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Massachusetts Oxycontin Trafficking Defense Law Firm

Drug Trafficking Attorney in Quincy, Massachusetts

Accepting for now that the article is accurate the starting for a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer defending this case is to evaluate the constitutionality of the stop and frisk of the individuals in the car and then the determine whether the search of Thevenot and the house were lawful. To justify the seizure of Fontana and Garcia the police must show that they had reasonable suspicion to believe that the occupants of the car had committed or were about to commit or were in the process of committing a crime. The district attorney in this case is going to argue that the broken window at 10 Earnest Street gave rise to this suspicion and permitted the search of the car occupants and Thevenot. A hunch does not meet the standard of reasonableness. In this case there appears to be an absence of specific facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the actions of Fontana and Garcia were consistent with criminal activity. Simply sitting in a car at 2:30 in the afternoon in a residential neighborhood does not support the officer’s actions. So what did the officer in fact see when he approached the car? Did he see some sort of object consistent with being used to break windows? Did he see cuts on the hands of either Fontana or Garcia consistent with them having suffered injury while breaking into the home? Were the officers notified about the possibility of a break-in at 10 Earnest Avenue? Or were Fontana and Garcia simply sitting in their car outside of the home? Did the officers know who lived in the home? Was the home associated with drug activity in the past? Here, it looks like the police officer was acting on a hunch. This should not survive a constitutional challenge.

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Can you imagine being only twenty three years old, being held in a jail on seventy five thousand dollars and facing a minimum mandatory fifteen year state prison sentence. That is exactly the predicament Roger Jones of Manchester, New Hampshire is in right now. According to an article in today’s Lynn Item, Jones was arrested for Trafficking OxyCodone. The estimated value of the drugs seized is about sixty thousand dollars. Apparently, in January a post office official became suspicious of a package addressed to someone in Lynn, Massachusetts. Law enforcement got involved. They opened the package and found about two thousand OxyCodone pills in a cotton candy machine. The package was subsequently delivered to the Lynn address. The recipient worked with police and contacted the person who was ultimately to receive the drugs. This was Chrystalina Cruz of Salem, Massachusetts. Cruz and Jones went to the Lynn address to accept the package. Both were arrested. Cruz was released on ten thousand dollars cash bail.

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Essex County OxyContin Trafficking Defense Attorney

One of the things this article fails to address is why it took months to get Jones into court for his arraignment. It appears that the police arrested him in January, near the time that the postal inspector first became suspicious of the package. Why then wait until now to get Jones arraigned. Moreover, it strikes me that the bail is somewhat high right now. The article makes no mention of a prior criminal history, or Jones being a danger to the community or the risk that Jones will flee the jurisdiction in an attempt to evade prosecution.

Substantively I have several questions about the viability of this prosecution. What information did the police have regarding Jones at the time of the arrest? Did they simply see him appear with Cruz or did they have conversations with him suggesting that he was arriving to get the drugs? Was the woman in Lynn able to provide incriminating information pertaining to Jones or only about Cruz? Did Jones take possession of the drugs prior to his arrest or was he arrested at the time he got to the home in Lynn? A Massachusetts OxyCodone Trafficking Defense Lawyer would need the answers to these questions in preparing to defend Cruz. Keep in mind, absent any affirmative evidence that Jones intended to possess OxyCodone with the intent to distribute the drugs there is no viable trafficking case against him. Similarly, absent an agreement between Jones, Cruz and or the woman at the home in Lynn any Conspiracy indictment against Jones would be weak. Cruz too may have defenses to this case. It is clears that the unnamed woman in Lynn was involved with the trafficking operation. When pressed, she blamed Cruz and said in so many words that Cruz made her do it. She called Cruz to come over to her home. However absent some evidence that Cruz went over there to access the drugs or evidence showing that Cruz even knew that drugs had been sent there it might be difficult to successfully prosecute her.

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Two nights ago Guarionex Pratts of North Andover, Massachusetts was arrested at his apartment by North Andover Police and DEA agents. Apparently a call to the DEA Tipline alerted authorities to the existence of Drug Dealing Activities at the apartment. The tip stemmed from neighbors concerns about an odor suggestive of drug activities in the building. The Lawrence Eagle Tribune is reporting that Pratts consented to a search of his apartment. During the Search officers found hundreds of Oxycodone pills, a significant sum of cash and over two pounds of Heroin. Packaging products or Drug Paraphernalia was also found and seized during the search. The smell that alarmed the neighbors was determined to come from cutting agents used to dilute the drugs being that were being packaged for street level sales. The heroin was valued at around one hundred fifty thousand dollars. Pratts has been charged with Trafficking Heroin and Trafficking Oxycodone. There is a mandatory minimum fifteen year sentence for a conviction of the Heroin Trafficking Offense. Pratts, who is thirty two years old, is believed to be supplying Drug Dealers in Lawrence, Massachusetts. If the Massachusetts state courts retain jurisdiction of the case it will likely be prosecuted in the Essex County Superior Court in Salem.

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http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1517687098/Accused-heroin-dealer-arrested-at-Royal-Crest-apartments

As a Massachusetts Criminal Attorney who has handled hundreds of drug cases in Essex County something immediately hits me when I read this article. Did Pratts really consent to the search of his apartment? The sheer quantity of drugs found suggests that whoever was responsible for these substances was not a novice. He or she had extensive experience in the Massachusetts drug underworld. Anyone with this level of familiarity with the drug trade would not simply consent to the search of his apartment. They would say no to the request to search. Massachusetts laws require a valid search warrant to justify a search of someone’s property. There are exceptions to the warrant requirement. Consent is one of those exceptions. Large scale drugs dealers however never consent. This leads me to conclude that there was no consent or the consent was coerced. In either case a Motion to Suppress the search will likely be filed to try to get the searched declared unconstitutional. If there truly was consent to the search this fact will have some significance for Pratts as well. It will be argued that no one is likely to consent to a search under these circumstances unless he or she had absolutely no involvement with the underlying Drug Distribution Activities. Pratts legal road is a long one. This makes his decision to hire the right lawyer to defend him one of the most important of his life. He must start an aggressive defense right away.

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According to the Brockton Enterprise, Jesse Sheridan of Norton, Massachusetts has been arrested and charged with Drug Trafficking, Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Possession With Intent to Distribute Oxycodone. The article states that Sheridan was arrested after a “months-long investigation”, the specifics of which were not disclosed. The charges are pending in the Taunton District Court however it is likely that this case will be prosecuted in the Bristol County Superior Court.

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http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/cops_and_courts/x1292319642/Norton-police-seize-170-oxycodone-pills-from-Village-Way-condominium

So what exactly is Oxycodone? It is a prescription drug advertised and prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. It comes in liquid and tablet forms. It is a highly addictive drug. It can be habit-forming. Studies suggest that Oxycodone addicts have a tendency to turn to heroin as a cheaper alternative once their prescriptions run out or they are unable to pay for the drug. Oxycontin pills with 80 milligram strength can sell for as much as one hundred dollars per pill on the streets. Heroin on the other hand can be accessed in small yet temporarily satisfying quantities for under ten dollars per hit. Prosecutors in Massachusetts understand the dangers of Oxycodone and they endeavor to punish the dealers with stiff, unforgiving sentences. It is at times the job of the Massachusetts Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer to educate the prosecutors and sometimes the judges that not all of these dealers are in it for a profit. Many sell these drugs simply to support their unfortunately severe habits. The trafficking operations of these people are often shoddy and disorganized. Their motives, i.e. to satisfy their habits will be obvious. In these situations, if the case is not suitable for trial or a successful Motion to Suppress plea negotiations come into play. Here is where the experience of your lawyer becomes critical.

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This past Friday evening Salem, Massachusetts police officers saw what looked to them like a drug transaction. The suspect, Aquiles Sanchez took off in his car leading officers on a chase. He then fled on foot. However, sixty two year old John Carr saw the cruiser lights and knew something was wrong. He saw Sanchez walking through a neighbors’ yard. Carr told him to stop. He did not. Instead he took off running. Carr chased Sanchez and tackled him. Carr’s son and other neighbors helped out. Eventually the police arrived and made an arrest. Sanchez is being charged with Trafficking Oxycodone, Operating to Endanger and Resisting Arrest. The case will be prosecuted in the Essex County Superior Court.

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http://www.salemnews.com/local/x7462022/Salem-man-helps-police-by-tackling-drug-suspect

Essex County Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer

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As a Massachusetts Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer I am interested in knowing exactly what observations the police made that led them to charge Sanchez with Trafficking Oxycodone. Usually, officers see only “what they believe to be a drug transaction”. Their reports talk about the suspect’s “furtive movements” or an “exchange” they believe constituted drug distribution. Rarely are binoculars or cameras used to capture the exchange. Also, the suspected “purchaser” is needed to help prove the crime. This person usually engages a lawyer and cooperation for the purchaser is rarely used since he or she is likely to be charged with possession of the controlled substance only. Large scale drug dealers rarely conduct their business in public so the fact that Sanchez was found in possession of ten thousand dollars is not in this case likely to be supportive of this allegation. I am interested in knowing how much of the drugs were found on the purchaser and if this quantity had a value near the amount of money Sanchez was carrying. If these factors do not add up then the trafficking case might be defensible.

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Mark Balboni and Chelsea McKay were arrested last night and are facing charges this morning in the Brockton District Court. The Brockton Enterprise reports that after months of investigating police officers from East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater and Whitman Searched a home at 2 Natalie Drive. During the Search officers found hundreds of prescription drugs, mostly painkillers. Balboni has been charged with Trafficking OxyCodone and Possession With the Intent to Distribute other substances. McKay has been charged with Conspiracy, Possession With Intent to Distribute Oxycodone and Marijuana. The case will be prosecuted in the Plymouth County Superior Court in Brockton. It is alleged that Balboni trafficked over twenty eight grams of oxycodone.

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http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/cops_and_courts/x1714274838/Police-seize-hundreds-of-painkillers-from-East-Bridgewater-home

Plymouth County Superior Court Drug Lawyer

Trafficking Oxycodone in the amount is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C Section 32E(c). Anyone convicted of committing this offense in Massachusetts is guilty of a felony and must serve a minimum mandatory seven year sentence. The lack of detail in this article makes analyzing the defendant’s chances of success difficult. Questions that a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney would like answered are: 1) did the officers have a search warrant; 2) if not, did they have consent to search and if so, from whom; 3) what evidence do the officers have that links each individual to the drugs he/she is accused of intending to distribute; 4) where these defendants targeted as part of this investigation and for how long. Massachusetts Courts provide great protections against unlawful Searches and Seizures. Many cases are won by showing that a search was illegal. When consulting a lawyer make sure you go over each of these rights to see if your case is one that might be dismissed due to unlawful police conduct.

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This past Thursday Stoughton, Massachusetts police detectives received a tip. They learned, probably through an informant that a package containing Oxycodone was going to delivered by mail to someone in Stoughton. An undercover detective pretending to be a postal worker contacted the recipient and arranged to meet with her. A short time later detectives met with Jessica Prato and Chad Graham, both of Miami, Florida. Both were arrested and charged with Trafficking Oxycodone. Police seized the package. It contained nearly one hundred thousand dollars worth of Oxycodone pills.

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http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/cops_and_courts/x370074324/Stoughton-police-make-major-oxycodone-bust

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Massachusetts Oxycodone, Oxycontin Trafficking Defense Lawyer

There is a lot about this case that interests me as a Massachusetts Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer. First, what if anything did the defendants say when they met with the undercover officer. If Prato simply took possession of the package without more then there is no indication that she knew what the package contained. In that case the district attorney will have a difficult time showing criminal intent. Second, how is Graham implicated in criminal activity. If he simply accompanied Prato when she met with the undercover officer the prosecution will have difficulty showing criminal responsibility on his part. Third, what were Prato and Graham doing in Massachusetts. Did they own property here. What is the nature of the address where the package was being sent. What is their connection to that address. Fourth, what information did the informant present to the officers. Will it survive a constitutional challenge from a Motion to Suppress.

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This past Friday an investigation by members of the Salem, Massachusetts police department as well as officers from Ipswich, Beverly and the Essex County Sheriff’s office effectuated an arrest. The suspect is a sixty three year old Salem man. Ronald Marshall was the target of a month long investigation during which it was learned that Marshall was selling drugs out of his Appleton Street home. The police officers executed a Search Warrant around 3:00 p.m. on September 10, 2010. They found Oxycodone, Morphine and assorted other pills, Class C drugs in Massachusetts. They also located and seized over twenty pounds of Marijuana. Since the home lies within one thousand feet of a school zone the additional charge of School Zone Violation will be filed. The drugs are valued in excess of one hundred thousand dollars. The marijuana alone has an estimated value of seventy five thousand dollars. It is reported that Marshall has criminal convictions for Drug Trafficking and Weapons Charges. The case is being prosecuted in the Salem District Court for now. It is likely that given his prior criminal history and the quantity of drugs that Marshall will be defending these allegations in the Essex County Superior Court.

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http://www.salemnews.com/local/x187426892/Big-drug-bust-nets-pot-pills-in-Salem

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Salem, Massachusetts Drug Crimes Defense Attorney

I am interested in knowing with what the district attorney will charge Marshall. Trafficking Marijuana cannot be charged since the threshold for Marijuana Trafficking in Massachusetts is fifty pounds. Many of the pills in Marshall’s home are of a prescription nature may not be unlawful for Marshall to possess. There are no details provided by the article that explain how the police got to Marshall. More importantly, there is no factual explanation of how the officers got the requisite information to obtain a warrant to search Marshall’s home. Some of the things a Massachusetts Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer will want to know is whether someone other than Marshall lived in the home, what room the drugs were found in, how the drugs were packaged, whether there was any drug trafficking or distribution paraphernalia seized during the search and who was present when the warrant was executed.

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Detectives from Ipswich, Massachusetts and Beverly, Massachusetts observed a car being driven by Brian Sotiropoulos. The police had prior dealings with Sotiropoulos and his girlfriend, Cassandar Thomas, both from Georgetown, Massachusetts. It has been reported that the two were arrested in Ipswich on another occasion for Possession With the Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Conspiracy. The officers followed Sotiropoulos to a location where they saw him engage in what appeared to be a drug transaction. Sotiropoulos was pulled over. A subsequent search of his car revealed Percocet pills and OxyContin pills. Authorities allege that Peter Dolan of Ipswich was the buyer of illicit substances during the purported transaction. He was found in possession of four Percocet pills. Also located in Sotiropoulos’ vehicle was marijuana and Xanax. Both Sotiropoulos and Thomas are charged with Drug Trafficking, Conspiracy and Possession With Intent to Distribute Drugs. Dolan has been charged with Possession of Drugs. The cases are pending in the Newburyport District Court. The district attorney’s office will most likely indict the trafficking cases and the prosecution will take place in the Essex County Superior Court in Salem.

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http://www.salemnews.com/local/x1772339275/Trio-arrested-on-variety-of-narcotics-charges

Massachusetts Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer, Newburyport, Essex County, OxyContin

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The easiest case to focus on given the limited information in this article is Thomas’ exposure. By all accounts she was no more than a passenger in Sotiropoulos’ car. She had no role in the alleged transaction. There is no evidence that she possessed or aided or abetted in any drug distribution efforts. Being present during the commission of a crime without more does not give rise to guilt. There must be more. There must be some type of active involvement and an intent to engage in criminal activity. Thomas might prevail on a motion to dismiss. Sotiropoulos will have to take a different approach to defending his case. One thing is certain. He will be moving to suppress the stop, search and seizure of his vehicle and its contents.

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In early May of this year police in Southeastern Massachusetts seized about one half million dollars in drugs, cars and money that they attribute to a Drug Distribution ring in that part of the state. According to the Brockton Enterprise police learned that Christopher Witt of Middleboro was Selling Marijuana and other drugs from his home. Controlled purchases of drugs were made with the use of informants however the “buy money” was never recovered. Witt then provided information to authorities that Jesse Texeira was his supplier. Police ultimately raided Texeira’s home and found about ten thousand dollars worth of cocaine and marijuana. Ten thousand Oxycodone pills were also seized during this investigation along with Crack Cocaine and over one hundred thousand dollars cash. Also arrested were Akili Miranda and Christiano Texeira. Miranda has been charged with Trafficking Class A and Conspiracy. Both Texeiras face the same charges as does John Washington. Witt has been charged with Possession With Intent to Distribute Class D, a School Zone Violation, Possession of a Firearm and Possession With Intent to Distribute Class C.

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http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/cops_and_courts/x1218689651/Informants-helped-police-bust-alleged-pot-oxycodone-dealers-in-Middleboro-Bridgewater

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The article provides no detail as to how Christiano Texeira, Miranda and Washington have criminal involvement in this case. Perhaps they were present during when the controlled buys occurred. Maybe they were present when the search warrants were executed. There presence alone however does not ensure a conviction. Massachusetts law makes clear that being present at the scene of a crime with nothing more does not rise to the level of criminal activity. There must be something showing an affirmative involvement in the crime for the case to survive. As to Jesse Texeira the district attorney’s case will likely rest on the strength of the search warrant. A Good Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney will try to find ways to attack the constitutionality of the search in hopes of getting the search suppressed. No matter what the allegations there are always defenses to criminal charges.

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