Yesterday morning members of the Lowell, Massachusetts Police Department served a Search Warrant at 39 Whipple Street, the third floor apartment. At around 7:00 in the morning the officers raided the home. During the search they found Oxycodone pills, Cocaine and assorted Drug Paraphernalia including scales and packaging materials. A small amount of cash, under one hundred dollars was seized as well. Present at the time of the execution of the Search Warrant were Abigail Rivera, Esteban Lugo and Joshua Rivera, all alleged residents of the home. All three have been charged with Possession of a Class B narcotic and Possession With the Intent to Distribute a Class B substance. Another individual who was in the apartment, Jamie Rodriguez was arrested due to an outstanding warrant.
Lowell, Massachusetts Lawyer Defending Possession With Intent to Distribute Class B Narcotics
Every time I read an article like this one I immediately wonder how the prosecution expects to establish culpability for each member of the home. As I have mentioned before, Massachusetts case law emphatically states that “mere presence” at or near the scene of a crime is insufficient to establish liability for the commission of the crime. If that is all the evidence the district attorney has against the accused then the case will be dismissed as to that defendant. There must be more than simply being present when a crime has been committed. There must be some evidence that the accused was committing the crime. Even if he or she was not actively doing the illegal act the district attorney can proceed under a joint venture theory. This however requires them to show that the accused knowing participated in the commission of the crime, either by himself or with others and that he or she intended to commit the offense. In a case like this one the drugs are not usually in every room in the home. They are not usually in the possession of each individual home at the time the Search Warrant was executed. So why then were three people charged in this case? The answer is easy. All three were residents of the apartment. When the police cannot identify the actual culprits for certain they charge everyone present. As a matter of self-preservation one of the accused may point the finger at the others and solidify the prosecutor’s case. Other times, out of fear of going to trial some of the accused may plead guilty to something that does not require jail time or extensive probation. However, if the defendants are properly represented they often find some very viable defenses to the charges that result in suppression of the items seized or dismissal of the charges. This is another reason why getting the right Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer to defend you is extremely important.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is always ready to defend the accused regardless of the charges. We fight for all of our clients and our results are unparalleled. Call us at 617-263-6800 or send us an email to discuss your criminal case. Let our lawyers defend you.