For several weeks a Massachusetts Drug Task Force had been investigating a Heroin Distribution operation in the Bridgewater, Massachusetts area. The investigation suggested to the officers that Samantha Lee Costa was the source of local heroin sales. On April 1, 2013 the police applied for an obtained a Search Warrant for her apartment. The execution of the Search Warrant took place just after 6:30 p.m. that day. Costa and a woman named Nicole Rossier were present at the time of the search. Several other people were in the apartment as well. Nearly four grams of heroin were located along with some pills, Marijuana and a Syringe. Drug Packaging materials and an insignificant amount of cash, (one hundred sixty four dollars) were found in the apartment as well. Costa has been charged with Possession With Intent to Distribute Class A, Heroin and Possession of Class D, Marijuana. The case is being prosecuted in the Brockton District Court.
Possession With Intent to Distribute Drug Lawyer in Massachusetts
As a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer, based on this article it is clear to me that the charges against Costa are excessive and likely not provable. In order to convict someone for Possession With the Intent to Distribute Drugs in Massachusetts, the district attorney must show that the accused, in this case Costa, intended more than to just use the drugs. The only apparent evidence supporting that is the presence of baggies, packaging materials. Keep in mind that baggies are a household item and absent additional evidence of intended distribution it can be argued that the drugs that were being used by Costa came from those baggies. The syringe in this case was full. This is an indication that someone was about to use the heroin, not sell it.
Here is something else to consider. What is the evidence that Costa rather than someone else intended to use the Heroin? Rossier and several other people were present when the police raided the home. It is highly unlikely that the syringe or other drug ingestion materials will be fingerprinted. How then can the district attorney convince a jury that the drugs were Costa’s and not somebody else’s. They probably cannot make this argument successfully unless Costa made some incriminating statements or someone wants to testify against her. Hopefully she was smart enough not to make any statements to the police and contacted a lawyer right away. Certainly the people at the apartment are not in a position to testify as they have criminal exposure for Knowingly Being Present Where Heroin is Kept. Each of these people should have a lawyer to avoid being prosecuted along with Costa.