A Hudson, Massachusetts man pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking in the Middlesex County Superior Court on Monday. He was sentenced to 3-4 years in state prison. The defendant was charged with cocaine trafficking and conspiracy after his arrest in 2007. According to a report in the Metrowest Daily News, the defendant’s home was raided by police in September of 2007. Seized during the raid was more than five ounces of cocaine. Police estimated the street value of the drugs at between seven and eight thousand dollars. Charges against a co-defendant also charged with these crimes are still pending.
Cocaine trafficking in Massachusetts is a crime under G.L. c. 94C sec. 32E(b). To convict someone of trafficking the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person possessed a controlled substance (in this case cocaine), with the intent to distribute the substance or that he actually did distribute that substance, and that the amount of the substance exceeded a threshold weight. The penalty is a function of the quantity of the substance you have been convicted of trafficking. An ounce of cocaine equals 28 grams. In this case the defendant was accused of trafficking 5 ounces or 140 grams of cocaine. The punishment required by law in this situation is that the defendant serve a minimum mandatory 10 years in state prison. By all accounts he got a great deal.
There are many reasons why someone might have received a deal such as this. Oftentimes, prosecutors in Massachusetts agree to drop the level of the crime in exchange for a guilty plea. Trafficking 100 grams of cocaine but less than 200 grams requires a 10 year sentence. However a conviction for trafficking over 28 grams and up to 100 warrants a 5 year sentence. In this case the crime was most likely broken down 2 levels, over 14 grams but less than 28 requiring a 3 year sentence. The defendant’s age might have contributed to this decision. He was 21 when he got arrested and 22 when he pleaded guilty. His lack of a criminal record might also have played a role in the decision to break this case down. Perhaps the case against this defendant was somewhat weak thereby prompting the prosecution to agree to a deal. I am sure that good lawyering also played a significant role in this case.
If you have a case such as this we urge you to contact a Middlesex County Superior Court drug defense lawyer; like Stephen Neyman now.