Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Massachusetts Police Find Guns, Drugs And Explosives In Pre-Halloween Visit

We continue our Halloween-themed week of daily blogs, which will culminate with Friday’s subject of today’s witch-trials, with a frightening tale of unwanted visitors, illegal treats, and a resulting trick.

It was last Thursday night in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Approximately 8:30 pm. One week and a day before Halloween night. 22-year-old David W (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) was spending what he believed would be a quiet night in his home. Alone. His alleged treats surrounded him in his happy little piece of heaven as he settled in for the evening.

Outside, it was a calm night. Very little wind. Temperatures in the 30’s.

And then it happened.

The calm, both inside and out, became thing of the past.

One week later, it might have been various masked monsters who descended upon the house. Not tonight, though. Not ghosts, witches or goblins, either. Tonight, the most feared intruders of all for the Defendant…The Police

To be specific, the intruders were members of the Chicopee Police Department Narcotics Unit and Detective Bureau along with State Police Narcotics and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Their terrifying trick? They had come to execute two simultaneous search warrants. One for the Defendant’s home and one for his storage unit.

But they cheated. After all, they did get the treats for which they were seeking. These included approximately 20 grams of cocaine valued at about $2,000, which police say they found in his actual possession. They also found two pellet guns, a Taser (electroshock weapon), drug paraphernalia, cocaine, a semi-automatic handgun and ammunition lying innocently around the house. Lastly, at the storage unit, they found two pipe bombs along with ammunition.

Even after they found the treats for which they were searching, they still showed the Defendant another trick…their favorite. The Commonwealth’s bracelets of shame and various felony charges such as trafficking in cocaine, school zone violation, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a license, two counts of possession of an infernal machine, possession of a stun gun and resisting arrest.

Meanwhile, the State Police Fire Marshal’s office, Chicopee Fire Department and the State Police Bomb Squad were called in, and the pipe bombs were detonated safely on scene.

Samuel’s take:

When I was a lad, we used to have backups of candies and the occasional apple to give to trick-or- treaters. Of course, that was before they started finding razor blades in the apples, so I guess times have changed.

In all seriousness, however, the Defendant in today’s daily blog turns out to have been the target of an ongoing investigation. He apparently thought he was safe having secreted the contraband around the house and in the storage unit.

Many people think that if contraband is not found on your person, you cannot be prosecuted for it. This is not the case. There is a legal theory called “constructive possession” which lays that issue to rest. An example is if I come to a neighbor’s house and leave my trick-or-treat bag in the hallway and go upstairs to carve a pumpkin, I still own the bag I left downstairs. In this case, of course, it is even more clear as the materials were apparently found in his house and his storage unit.

It is unknown whether the Defendant knew he was being investigated. Often, people do not know. The police generally do not announce the onset of such things. Therefore, whether you believe you have done anything wrong or not, you are best advised to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you suspect that you may be under investigation.

The combination of drugs and guns are not treated lightly by either law enforcement or the courts. The explosives, however, really tend to raise eyebrows. Especially since September 11, 2001, such things are absolutely not taken lightly. Combined with the rest of the materials the police apparently seized, the words “law enforcement jackpot” come to mind.

In any event, the Defendant need not worry about missing this Friday night’s festivities…he has horrors enough in his future.

The full article of this story can be found at :
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/pipe_bombs_found_in_search.html

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