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.

REVERE MAN IS CHASED BY POLICE AND ARRESTED FOR DISTRIBUTION OF MARIJUANA

Alex Bilodeau, 26, of Revere (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) has branded himself as yet another gentleman who has misunderstood the rules of causing a Massachusetts drug investigation…and then making it even more serious.

The Defendant is said to have led the police on a foot chase in Davis Square to the women’s bathroom of a restaurant where police claim they found bags of marijuana stashed in an overflowing toilet.. He was then arrested on January 23, on charges including distribution of a class D drug, and resisting arrest.

According to law enforcement, the chase began on Grove Street around 1:35 p.m. last Thursday when an officer says he spotted the Defendant throw a small black safe into a dumpster. Thinking the action was suspicious, the officer approached him and allegedly saw a bag full of marijuana fall to the ground beside his jacket, according to a police report.

The officer says he then ordered the Defendant to the back of a vehicle he was next to. Instead, the Defendant apparently ran into Anna’s Taqueria in the square where he went into the women’s bathroom.. About a minute later, police said the Defendant opened the door to the bathroom with his hands in the air and ignored an order to get on the ground three times before police placed him in handcuffs.

Apparently not finding what they were hoping for on the Defendant’s person, the police went into the ladies’ s room and say that the back of the toilet was overflowing and when the porcelain top was removed police discovered a black plastic bag filled with 11 bags of marijuana.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Search, Seizure And Flight

Many people thin that if drugs if some other concontrabass not found on their person the. They cannot be charged with it
This is not the case. As we have discussed in the past, the law recognizes various theories to tie someone to something that they are not actually holding. One of these theories is that of “constructive possession”. Basically, it holds tht I can possess something without my actually having it on my person.

Basically, if I am writing this on my iPad, and I take a trip to the men’s room, leaving the iPad on the desk, I still possess it. I still am exercising control over it…unless and until someone else steals it.

“Dropsy” cases, cases in which a suspect throws something down so that they are not holding it in hopes that he will not be charged with it are pretty common. It does not generally work.

Kind of like running away from the police in the first place.

“So, Sam, if the police say that they see someone throw the thing down case closed? There is no defense?”

There is never “no defense”.

There are a few ways the defense may challenge the Commonwealth in this case that are already apparent.

First of all, of course, whether the police are testifying truthfully, there is the issue of intention to sell. Even if the Defendant possessed the marijuana, it could be for his own personal use.

Second, how well the police say thet saw the original safe is important. Can they be sure it was the same item they say they saw the Defendant throw? In fact, if so, few drug dealers waltz around town carrying the supply in a safe. That oddity could contain reasonable doubt within. Similarly, the police did not see the Defendant stuff the remaining bags in the toilet.
Finally, there may well be strong issues for a motion to suppress in this case. Did the police have the right to order and chase the Defendant? How did the various items really get discovered?

The bottom line in this case is the same usual. The Defendant’s best bet is to have experienced counsel in these types of cases and the related issues.

Have a great safe and law abiding weekend !

To read the original story upon which this blah is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/somerville/2014/01/chase_overflowing_taqueria_toilet_lead_drug_bust_in_somervil.html

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