The Lawrence Eagle Tribune reported that a 35 year old Lawrence was arrested and charged with trafficking heroin in excess of 200 grams. According to the article the defendant was a major supplier of heroin to Southern New Hampshire. About 2 months ago this individual was identified by Plaistow, New Hampshire police as the major source of heroin in that area. Once that determination was made Lawrence police were contacted to assist in an investigation. The investigation resulted in a search of the defendant’s home on Andover Street in Lawrence during which police confiscated 327 grams of heroin worth an estimated $32,700, and $14,000 in cash. An arrest of the defendant was made at the apartment after the search. Also arrested was his girlfriend who was present during the search as well. Police expect 5 additional arrests from this investigation. These individuals would make trips to Lawrence to obtain heroin and travel back to New Hampshire where they would sell to teenagers. At times the defendant himself would go to New Hampshire and make sales. In the last two weeks an undercover police officer made four purchases from the defendant in Lawrence. New Hampshire police believe that this arrest will make a major dent in heroin activities in their state. During a search a police canine located 223 bags of heroin. Also found were stashes of money, scales, false identification and related heroin trafficking paraphernalia. The defendant was held on $250,000 bail while his girlfriend was held on $100,000 bail. Read entire article.
If the newspaper account is accurate, the defendant is likely in a lot of trouble. He needs an excellent Massachusetts Drugs Crime Defense Lawyer to help him with this case. Heroin trafficking over 200 grams carries a minimum 15 year state prison sentence. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94 C Section 32E makes heroin trafficking a crime. That statute states that “[a]ny person who trafficks in heroin . . . any derivative thereof by knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing or dispensing or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense or by bringing into the commonwealth a net weight of fourteen grams or more of heroin . . . any derivative thereof or a net weight of fourteen grams or more of any mixture containing heroin or any . . . or any derivative thereof or any mixture thereof is” guilty of trafficking. “Two hundred grams or more, be punished by a term of imprisonment in the state prison for not less than fifteen nor more than twenty years. No sentence imposed under the provisions of this clause shall be for less than a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of fifteen years and a fine of not less than fifty thousand nor more than five hundred thousand dollars may be imposed but not in lieu of the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment, as established therein.” Whereas in this case there were 4 controlled buys it will be difficult for the defendant win this case at trial. Additionally, where the quantity significantly exceeds the threshold for the 15 year mandatory sentence it is not likely that the prosecution will agree to break this case down. The defendant is also looking at a school zone violation which adds another 2 years mandatory to the sentence.
The case against the girlfriend might be easier to defend. If she was merely present at the time of the search and was not a party to the controlled buys she might have a good chance at a successful defense. One of the Massachusetts jury instructions states that “[i]f it has been proved that the defendant was present at the scene of the crime, that fact alone is not enough to find teh defendant guilty. Presence alone does not establish a joint venture, even if a person knew about the intended crime in advance and took no steps to prevent it. Our law does not allow for guilty by association. There must be proof that the defendant intentionally participate in committing that particluar crime, not just that he or she knew about it”.
If you have been charged with a drug offense in Massachusetts click on any of the following links and contact a Massachusetts Drugs Crimes Attorney now.
All of the lawyers associated with these law firms have over 20 year criminal experience. Each has handled countless drug cases with great success.