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.

Kitty Killer Is Arrested On Drug Felonies

Some people just can’t keep out of trouble. Allegedly. There are studies, performed both in and out of Massachusetts, that say that there are indicators of some people’s future behavior. For example, some studies indicate that someone who starts out in life torturing and killing animals end up killing people. Allegedly. We lawyers call such people “repeat customers”.

Allegedly.

Anyway, let’s chat about Luigi E., 26, of East Boston (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). He’s in trouble again.

You see, back in 2008, he got into alittle trouble. He was accused of killing a cat named “Nunu”, setting its corpse on fire, and throwing it out a window. The convictions received for that little episode were for arson and malicious killing of a domestic animal.

“Hey, Sam! Allegedly, right?”

Well, I guess so. Of course, he apparently confessed to detectives that he had stomped Nunu to death, set it on fire, and tossed its remains through the window of a Princeton Street apartment building.

The result? He received a 2 1/2-year sentence.

“So…what? He killed a person now?”

Well, the people who say that trafficking in illegal drugs is trafficking in death would basically answer in the affirmative. The Criminal Justice System, however, calls it something else.

The Defendant was arrested last week after police allegedly observed a heroin deal in East Boston. He faces charges of distributing a Class A substance, possessing a Class A substance with intent to distribute, and trafficking in Oxycontin, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

In last week’s incident, police say they saw the Defendant and another man counting money in the Defendant’s car in an East Boston parking lot. The two men pulled out and officers followed them to another location where a third man got in. After what officers believed was a drug deal, the third man got out. Officers stopped him and found he had a plastic bag containing a powder believed to be heroin.

As the investigation continued, the car containing the Defendant and the second man was then stopped and searches occurred. According to the Commonwealth, the Defendant had two chunks of heroin and the car contained150 OxyContin tablets.

The Defendant and two other men have been arraigned and now wait to find out if their case will remain in district court or indicted, moving the matter to superior court.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

There will be a serious search and seizure issue in this case which may well determine its outcome.

The question is whether the police had the requisite probable cause to perform the searches which revealed the drugs. It is likely that the third gentleman observed will be prosecuted as a buyer. If push comes to shove, they may work out a deal to force him to testify against the Defendant and his other cohort.

“But, Sam, doesn’t he have a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself?”

Yes, but that right is waived once he accepts a plea on the matter and admits his guilt. Or if the DA gives him immunity from prosecution. No potential threat of prosecution, no self-incrimination issue.

It is worth remembering that those with whom you engage in a criminal enterprise may well serve as witnesses against you when the time comes.

And if that happens, you want to have an experienced attorney who is used to handling such situations. As always, if you are facing such a situation and wish to discuss it with me, please feel free to contact me at 617-492-3000.

Tomorrow: A new weekly title to replace “Attorney Sam’s Take” and a Motor Vehicle Homicide Two-for!

To find the original story upon which this story is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/03/convicted_cat_k.html

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