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 Drug Traffic Continues

It was not an uncommon news story on Wednesday in Springfield. A Multi-defendant drug bust of heretofore unknown budding defendants. You know the drill…”high-crime area”, “ongoing investigation”, attorneys’ arguing bail and mouthing “not guilty” for their clients to recite when asked by the court.

Sergeant John Delaney of the Springfield Police Department proudly announced the arrests of John C., 27; Karla T., 24; and Robert W,, 37. (hereinafter, collectively the “Three Defendants”) as part of the bust.

The arrests followed an ongoing investigation. After conducting an hour of surveillance, watching drug sales of crack and marijuana, the police arrested two alleged sellers and one alleged buyer. on Carter and Tapia at Union and Orleans Streets, detectives observed the duo routinely making sales of crack and marijuana. After police observed Walter receive a sale, police followed him out of the vicinity and arrested him.
The arrests of the alleged drug dealers went down without incident. The alleged buyer, however, fought back and tried to swallow the evidence.

He lost the battle.

Police confiscated eight more packages of each drug, and $200 cash. The charges were as one would expect…distribution of crack-cocaine, possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, violation of a drug-free school zone, possession of crack-cocaine and one charge of resisting arrest.

The Three Defendants were arraigned in Springfield District Court yesterday.

Meanwhile, closer to Boston, a more unusual drug bust was taking place. A Department of Conservation and Recreation ranger assigned to the Massachusetts State House was arrested and arraigned on drug charges, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said Thursday.

Jon D., 32, (hereinafter, “Ranger Defendant”) was seen by drug task force investigators getting into a blue Honda operated by Luis V. (hereinafter, “Driver Defendant”) in Malden, Leone said. The vehicle drove a short distance down Pearl Street and stopped.

Ranger Defendant is said to have gotten out of the car and then into his own car. The officers followed him to Pearl Street, where he got out. Police say that Ranger Defendant then dropped a bag on the ground, which was later identified as containing cocaine.

Ranger Defendant was arraigned Thursday in Malden District Court on two counts of possession of a Class B substance, cocaine and suboxone, and conspiracy to violate the controlled substance act. He was ordered held on $140 bail.

Driver Defendant, 36, of Winthrop, was also arrested immediately following what the police call a drug deal and charged with trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to violate the drug law and drug violation near a school or park. He was ordered held on $1,000 bail.

The DCR said Ranger Defendant has been placed on temporary administrative leave. He will return to his job on Monday, and most likely be reassigned.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

Yesterday, in connection with a burglary case, we discussed the theory of abandonment. There is a related theory which often comes into play in the Criminal Justice System. It is called “constructive possession”.

Many defendants-to-be believe that if they throw whatever contraband that they have down, and so the police do not actually discover it in their hands, that they cannot be arrested for it.

Wrong.

I can have a kilo of cocaine in my home (by the way, I don’t) and be at work when the police execute a search warrant at my place. I will still be charged with it because I constructively possessed it. Also, of course, if the police see me throw a bag of crack down right in front of them, they can easily testify that it was in my hand and then, perhaps as if by magic, it floated in the air into the bushes.

Of course, in order to prove the felony of trafficking, more is needed…such as evidence of a sale. In the case of Driver Defendant, it is unclear as to how they link him with the drugs associated with Ranger Defendant.

You never know who is being investigated. You do not know when that investigation starts. If you suspect you are the target of any such investigation, consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Have a good, safe and law-abiding weekend!

The full article of this story can be found at http://www.abc40tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10036882 and http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/18968704/detail.html

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