Zachary Brewster, a twenty six year old New Hampshire resident was driving his car the wrong way down a one way street Tuesday night in Lawrence, Massachusetts. After learning that the operator did not have a license in his possession, the officer who stopped him asked him to get out of the car. As soon as Brewster complied with the exit order the police saw Drug Paraphernalia in the front of the car. Specifically, the police observed needles and syringes. The police also had the two passengers, Bradford Sargent and Jennifer Trowbridge get out of the car as well. A backpack located in the backseat of the car was searched. There police found cocaine and a bag of mushrooms. During the booking process Trowbridge was found in possession of heroin and cocaine. These substance were concealed in her bra. She was also holding additional syringes and needles. All three have been charged with Possession With Intent to Distribute Heroin, Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Possession of Class C (mushrooms) as well as Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substances Laws. The cases are pending in the Lawrence District Court.
Defending Drug Cases in Essex County Massachusetts
This article got me thinking about the number of drug cases my office gets that start with a stop of a motor vehicle. I would estimate that at least of our drug cases fall within this category. There are several reasons for this. The police can usually justify their activity or “probable cause” when they pull a car over. Whether true or not, they can cite a high rate of speed, erratic driving, driving the wrong way down a one way street, expired inspection sticker, expired registration and more. Many of these reasons are subjective and difficult to challenge through Motions to Suppress. Conversely, Massachusetts Drug Cases involving search warrants require the approval of a judge or magistrate and concrete facts that can easily be challenged if exaggerated or false. Hand to hand drug sales typically involve lengthy investigations that expose the identities of informants or compromise the undercover status of the officers involved. These types of investigations require the services of additional officers who conduct surveillance making the police work more costly. There is the additional risk that the more officers involved in the operation the easier it is for an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer to call into question the integrity of the operation. The more officers involved the more likely their testimonies will vary thereby weakening the strength of the district attorney’s case.
The biggest problem for these defendants is that the driver did not have a license in his possession. This essentially permits the police to do more than simply cite the driver for operating the wrong way down a one-way street. It gave them the legal authority to order the driver to exit the car. That led to the disclosure of the drug paraphernalia and probable cause to arrest for a violation of the Massachusetts Drug Laws.
Our office defends the accused. We work with you and help develop your defense so that you are able to fight the charges you are facing. If you are in trouble, call our office at 617-263-6800 or contact us online. We will help you defend your Massachusetts Criminal Case.