Just two days ago, two separate arrests were made on Route 84 in Worcester County, Massachusetts. The first case involved a van that was pulled over around 5:40 in the morning. The passenger, Ramon Suero was arrested after Massachusetts State Police found a kilogram of cocaine secreted in his clothing. Troopers also found over twenty eight thousand dollars in the van. Several hours later, on the same road, another vehicle was pulled over. It is alleged that the driver, Carlos Vargas was speeding. It was soon learned that Vargas’ driver’s license had been suspended. He was arrested. A subsequent search of his car resulted in the seizure of over two hundred grams of heroin, one pound of marijuana and some pills. The cases will be prosecuted in the Worcester Superior Court.
Cocaine, Heroin Trafficking Defense Lawyer in Worcester
Both of these men have been charged with serious Massachusetts Drug Crimes. Suero is facing charges of Trafficking Cocaine in Excess of 200 Grams. The minimum mandatory sentence after a conviction for that offense is fifteen years in state prison. Vargas too is facing a fifteen-year minimum mandatory sentence for Trafficking Heroin Over 200 Grams. As a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer I see some distinct differences between these cases. The more difficult case to defend seems to be Vargas’. The police have the right to arrest someone driving with a suspended license. With that right comes the right to search the individual and to tow the vehicle. The towed vehicle can be searched. The search is known as an “inventory search”. This type of search permits law enforcement to search a lawfully impounded motor vehicle. In order to do so however the police must have a written procedure on how to do so and this procedure must be followed. Typically in cases like Vargas’ the pretrial issues focus on suppressing the search due to an improper search, one that violated the inventory search policy of the department. Should the case go to trial, the focus will be on Vargas’ knowledge of the presence of the drugs in the car.
Suero’s case is much different. As a passenger there must be a lawful purpose for him having been searched. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that there must be a reasonable basis particular to the passenger to conclude that he or she is armed and a danger before the search will be validated. So exactly did Suero do in this case? Nothing according to this article. So whey then was he searched? I imagine that the basis for his defense will be the legality stop, Search and Seizure of the drugs.