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.
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.
Our office has defended cases like this one in Essex County, all Lawrence Courts and the respective Essex County Superior Courts for years. We believe that every case can be defended and we are committed to fighting for all of our clients. Call us now at 617-263-6800 or contact us online to discuss your criminal case.