Police in Weymouth, Massachusetts had been investigating Brandon Runge for several months. Complaints from neighbors led them to believe that the twenty year-old Runge had been involved in criminal activities. Late last week, armed with a Search Warrant police went to Runge’s home on Oakdale Street. At the time of the entry of the police officers Runge leapt out of a window and fled. The search of the apartment continued. Officers located a significant quantity of Cocaine, Oxycodone, a Firearm, Ammunition, Bath Salts and a large amount of cash. Late Monday night Runge was located in Hull where he was apprehended. He now faces charges of Trafficking Cocaine, Trafficking Oxycodone, Possession With Intent to Distribute Bath Salts, Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Possession of a Firearm and more. Runge had several outstanding warrants at the time of his arrest as well. Right now the cases are pending in the Quincy District Court but will likely be indicted and prosecuted in the Norfolk County Superior Court in Dedham.
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Perhaps the most serious charge Runge is facing is being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. This statute, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 10G provides for much more severe penalties than the statute prohibiting Gun Possession in Massachusetts. The felon in Possession statute in essence states that anyone in possession of a gun and having a single conviction for either a crime of violence or a drug crime is to be punished by a minimum mandatory three-year state prison sentence. Two such prior convictions mandates a ten year prison sentence after a conviction for being a Felon in Possession. Thus, Runge may have some steep exposure for a conviction of this offense if his criminal record contains any of these predicate convictions.
So what are the defenses to an indictment charging this crime? Beyond the ordinary, i.e. invalid Search Warrant, affirmative defenses, attribution to another, Runge may want to try to get his prior convictions vacated. That can sometimes be done through a new trial motion attacking either the predicate convictions or pleas. Ineffective assistance of counsel, newly discovered evidence or constitutionally infirm pleas serve as a basis for the collateral attack. This approach is often taken in cases where the concerns focus more on sentencing than with defending the underlying Felon in Possession Charge. Runge’s Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer will probably take a look at this issue. Vacating prior convictions will usually result in a lesser sentence no matter what the outcome is on the primary criminal charge.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, PC defends cases in Norfolk County Superior Court and in courts throughout Massachusetts. We have been in business for over twenty-five years. You can contact us by calling 617-263-6800 or by sending us an email. Everyone charged with a crime needs a lawyer. We can help you.