According to a report in the Somerville, Massachusetts Patch, three Massachusetts residents were arrested last week on Drug Charges. Somerville Police were conducting a drug investigation during which they stopped a car they believed contained some Heroin. The stop occurred in the middle of the afternoon. Once the car was stopped, one of the occupants, Jesse Peloquin told the officers that the drugs were in her bra. She, along with Ryan Kanode and Marie Stefano were all charged with various Massachusetts Drug Crimes. Among the crimes were Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substances Act, Possession of Heroin, a Class A Drug, Distribution of Heroin and Knowingly Being Present Where Heroin is Kept. The cases are pending in the Somerville District Court.
Drug Distribution Defense Attorney in Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C Section 35 makes the following acts a crime: 1) knowingly Being Present where Heroin is Kept or Knowingly Being in the Company of Someone who is in Possession of Heroin. This crime is a misdemeanor and it carries a maximum one year jail sentence. While this crime is often prosecuted in Massachusetts district attorneys often agree to dismiss the charge upon payment of court costs if the accused has no criminal record, and in particular no prior drug offenses.
Distribution of Heroin on the other hand is a felony in Massachusetts. The law prohibiting the behavior is M.G.L. c. 94C Section 32. There is a potential ten year prison sentence associated with this crime. However, these cases are usually prosecuted in the district court where a judge can sentence to no more than two and one half years. If the accused has a conviction for a similar offense then he or she can be charged under subparagraph (b) of this law which has a mandatory three and one half year state prison sentence for anyone convicted. Often however, an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer can get the district attorney to agree to reduce the charges to something not requiring jail time.
So what are the possible defenses for the accused in this case? That depends on what the police claim to have seen. First, there may be a viable Motion to Suppress if the police conducted the stop, Search and Seizure in violation of the defendants’ constitutional rights. What did they in fact see that in their mind permitted them to search the car? After the stop, what evidence exists to show that any of the occupants went to Somerville to distribute drugs? The article seems to indicate that the three defendants drove to Somerville to buy drugs, not to sell them. What evidence do the police have to prove that Kanode and Stefano knew that Peloquin had Heroin in her bra? This article suggests that there are countless defenses available to these three that might result a positive resolution to this case.