This past Friday, after a four month investigation Joan Alberto Brea was arrested and charged with Trafficking Heroin, a School Zone Violation, and several Motor Vehicle Crimes. Brea, whose true identity has not been established is being held without bail. The investigation centered on drug dealing activities in the Mansfield Woods Condominiums. During the arrest police seized about eight thousand five hundred dollars worth of heroin, a quantity of about eighty five grams. No more information was given about the nature of the investigation.
In Massachusetts there is a substantial chance that a defendant will be held without bail in a Drug Trafficking Case such as this one. The defendant’s identity is not known by law enforcement. Nor for that matter is his address. There is a strong concern that he would default and never return to court if a bail were set that he could afford to post. Roots in the community coupled with a demonstration of stability and reasons to appear in court as ordered are factors that usually result in the imposition of an affordable bail. Obviously that is not the case here.
The absence of detail in this article suggests that this investigation is far from over. 85 grams of heroin is inconsequential given the length of this investigation and the number of law enforcement officers responsible for this case. For Brea however the stakes are high. He is facing a minimum mandatory seven year state prison sentence if convicted of trafficking and another mandatory two years on top of that if he is convicted of the school zone violation. There might be some defenses to this case. The fact that he was charged with Motor Vehicle Crimes suggests that he was driving at the time of his arrest. The police must show probable cause to stop, search and make the arrest. Given the depth of this investigation I would imagine that informant information played a role in the arrest as did surveillance efforts.