Last week after receiving complaints about “suspicious activity” Methuen, Massachusetts police began a surveillance in the area of Wheeler Street and Lowell Street. Officers observed a couple of cars arrive and “engage in some sort of transaction”. Believing that they had just witnessed a drug deal the police moved in and arrested twenty two year old Gustavo Baez-Franco. On his possession and in his car the police found eighty eight grams of cocaine and thirty eight grams of heroin. The drugs that were found in the car were located in a hidden part of the console. Nearly four thousand dollars cash were also seized from Baez-Franco. No drugs were found in the other car. The case will initially be prosecuted in the Lawrence District Court and subsequently indicted to the Essex County Superior Court in Salem. The charges will be trafficking heroin and trafficking cocaine.
The defense of this case will rely heavily on a motion to suppress the search of the defendant and the seizure of the drugs the police found as a result. Police are not permitted to act on a hunch that a drug deal was just consummated. They must have reasonable articulable facts that warrant the intrusion. Their actions must meet the Constitutional protections afforded the defendant. Searches like this one are often suppressed. The result of suppression is typically a dismissal of the case.
Defending Drug Cases in Massachusetts is a daily event in our office. Call us at 617-263-6800 to discuss your drug case or contact us online. We will promptly respond to your inquiry.