According to the Lowell Sun two men were arrested in Burlington, Massachusetts last week. Both are being charged with Trafficking Heroin Over 28 Grams, Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substances Law and a School Zone Violation. The defendants, Wilkims Soto-Suazo and Jesus Pantonja are from Norwood, Massachusetts and Hyde Park, Massachusetts respectively. Apparently the Range Rover the defendants were in was under surveillance. Officers pulled it over on the Winn Street ramp by Route 128. A canine unit sniffed out over fifty six grams of heroin. The article is silent as to where in the vehicle the drugs were found and what evidence links each defendant to the substances.
As I have mentioned many times in the past the validity of the stop is an issue that an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney will investigate. An unlawful stop often results in the suppression of the evidence that has been seized as a result of the stop. There had to be a reason that the vehicle was pulled over on the ramp rather than at another location. There also had to be a reason that the police called for a canine unit. If the officers had probable cause to arrest at the time of the stop there would be no need to take this measure. An inventory search of the vehicle could have been conducted at the station. Thus, the question of why these men were pulled over is critical. It would also be necessary to know the length of time these people were detained before the canine unit arrived. These factors affect the constitutional analysis of this case. The next issue to tackle is the location of the drugs in the vehicle as well as ownership of the car. If the car was borrowed and the drugs were in a “hide” the district attorney will have to prove knowledge of the existence of the drugs in the vehicle. At times proof of this sort can be difficult particularly where it was necessary to get a dog to locate the substance.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is committed and dedicated to defending the accused. Our office handles criminal matters only. Call us now at 617-263-6800 or contact us online to discuss your case. There is always a defense to criminal charges.