An article in Wicked Local, Cambridge reports today that Toure Penn Poster of Cambridge, Massachusetts was arrested after police officers supposedly saw him engaged in a drug deal just after 9:30 a couple of weeks ago. The officer reported that he saw Poster on his bicycle circling and constantly looking back towards the officer’s cruiser. A car approached. Poster was witnessed leaving his bicycle, getting into the car and getting out of the car a few blocks down the road. Officers confronted Poster, searched him and found in his possession three small baggies of marijuana, a Class D substance. Poster was arrested and charged with Distribution of Marijuana, a Class D Substance. He was also charged with Distribution of Marijuana in a School Zone given the incident occurred within three hundred feet of an elementary school. Officers further reported taking Poster’s cell phone and taking calls made to the phone during which alleged Drug Deals were discussed.
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The first thing a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer will think when reading about this case is “why was Poster charged with Distribution?”. There is no indication that any officer saw him distribute anything. The information that the police related is that they saw Poster get into a car, abandon his bicycle, exit the car a few blocks away where he was found in possession of an obviously small quantity of Marijuana. Interestingly enough the quantity of the drug is not even mentioned suggesting to me that it was far less than one ounce, thereby making Poster’s activities non-criminal unless the district attorney can prove actual distribution or an intent to distribute. Well, the distribution suggestion seems purely speculative. Who is to say that Poster was selling as opposed to buying from the person in the car? Even more, who is to say that Poster and the unknown, unidentified person in the car had any Marijuana Dealings at all? Poster might well have had the Marijuana in his Possession prior to meeting up with the car. And think about this. Why would Poster get involved in a drug deal with a police cruiser right near him? Wouldn’t he simply tell the driver of the car to come back another time? Wouldn’t he call the person and say “Hey. The timing is bad. There is a police car right here?” Stories like this one always raise my suspicions. Drug dealers do not deal drugs in front of parked police cruisers particularly when they know that the police are watching them as Poster seemingly did here. It seems to me that either the facts set out in this article are very incomplete or Poster has some viable defenses to set out, or both.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, PC defends people accused of committing crimes. We have been in the Massachusetts Criminal Law business for over twenty-five years. We know that we can help you so call us at 617-2673-6800 or send us an email.