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.

SPRINGFIELD LAW ENFORCEMENT OVERJOYED IN SPREADING SELF-CONGRATULATIONS…AND DANGER…IN RECENT DRUG CASES

As I am writing this blog, the latest count is 380.

That would be 380 people enjoying and commenting on the happy news of Friday’s drug bust in Springfield. Holiday cheer abounds!

The comments are insightful and important too.

Take Kay Thomas’ commentary for example. She observed:

“Man ya so much on these cops giving them credit First how do the Drugs get here ourown government so get it right”.

Paul Lunt’s observations were short and sweet.

“Saweeeet!”

Mike Hawley gave his advice…

“One raid at a time , thats how ya do it SPD … good job guys!”

On the other hand, Don Mei Jr. was more concerned with the future…

“So when you recover firearms like this, in this case a very nice $2000 Colt Python revolver. Do you just crush them. Or do you try to trace them back to their original owners so they can be returned? (assuming they are stolen)”

Other concerned citizens were more concerned with the photograph posted of Jason Arias (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). For example, Robert Wojtczak wondered,

“Is that a Bluetooth or a hearing aid?”

Melissa Johnson and Amanda Manzi simple offered their opinions,

“Wtf” and “Eww what’s on his ear” (Respectively).

These folks, and many more, were reacting to the facebook posting of the Defendant’s arrest and resulting seizure of drugs and guns. As mentioned yesterday, the Springfield Police Department’s Sgt. John Delaney makes these posts as part of his cleverly-named “full justice press”.

As part of his efforts to “worry” drug dealers, he posted the bust as follows:

Huge Drug Arrest in Springfield … War Against Drugs Goes On (good guys are winning in Springfield) –

At 8:00 P.M. this evening the Springfield Police Departments Narcotics Unit under the direction of Lt. Alberto Ayala and the Street Crime Unit Under the direction of Lt. Robert Tardiff culminated a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in the City of Springfield with one arrest and a huge seizure of Cocaine and Heroin.

The Detectives investigated large amounts of Coke and Heroin being sold and kept for sale at 17 Chase Avenue in Springfield. The target of the investigation was a Jason Arias age 31 of that address. Detective Gregg Bigda of the Narcotics Unit was the lead investigator in the case and worked tirelessly getting enough evidence to apply for and receive a Search Warrant for that address.
The raid team gathered and entered the address without incident. The target of the investigation was home when the police officers raided and searched the second and third floor.

Next came a listing of all the evidence seized, photographs of the cache and the Defendant and finally ended with the observation:

Police Commissioner John Barbieri was notified about the drug raid and praised the Narcotics Unit for their hard work these past two months by arresting numerous high level drug dealers and taking hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illegal narcotics off the streets of Springfield. Commissioner Barbieri’s plan to put a “full court press” on drug dealers and making life uncomfortable them is in full effect. Commissioner Barbieri stated that more arrests are to follow and the war on drugs in Springfield is being won … one arrest at a time.

When drug dealers are arrested crime goes down in the city so does the crime rate. There is a 20% drop in the crime rate in Springfield these last months and taking drugs off the streets helps that statistic dramatically.

Attorney Sam’s Take On The Prosecutorial Celebration

Yes, it would appear that it is a very jolly holiday in Springfield and law enforcement is getting what appears to be a well deserved pat on the back.

I hate to be Attorney Scrooge here, but I have a couple of concerns as to the wisdom of the party.

For example, I seem to remember concerns mentioned by law enforcement about the dangers of the drug trade. Murder-type dangers.

For example, there are turf wars. So, assuming that the taking out of this particular alleged drug lair is significant, then a vacuum now appears. Often, this results in turf battles to claim the area.

The Defendant sure seems to have a great deal of evidence piled against him. You know, often, the prosecution manages to “turn” such a person so that, in order to get a better deal, he cooperates with the government.

On the street, and in custody, such a person is called a “snitch”.

Snitches are often targeted by those who would prefer he not cooperate with law enforcement.

Again, Murder-type of targeting.

Wouldn’t it be neat if the Springfield Police Department did not make it so easy for such targeting and difficult for the Defendant (and his family) to stay safe? Wouldn’t it be keen if the prosecutors and jail did not necessarily have to take on the extra onus this brings on keeping the guy safe?

On the other hand, such publicity can be helpful to others to whom one might think law enforcement might not want to help. For example, others who are facing heavy criminal charges and might just want to take all this specified information to invent “evidence” of their own that they can exchange with the Defendant’s prosecutors in order for some consideration.

Even if it does not work, no harm in trying, right? After all, when was the last time you saw the Commonwealth a potential Commonwealth witness for lying on behalf of the Commonwealth?

And then…there are those pesky criminal defense attorneys.

Folks like us have a way, if we know what we are doing, of noticing such events and wondering how the celebration might effect our clients’ right to a fair trial. Undue public knowledge about a given case can tend to effect that.

So, with all these considerations which simply leapt into my brain upon reading this particular story, and the level of dangers to life, limb and fair trials, is it really such a great idea to be going to this extent in order to feel good about having done one’s job?

Well, of course, there is that stated goal about bringing “worry” and “fear” into the lives of the Defendant and those like him.

But, then, you could just burn down their homes and beat up their families…that might produce those results too.

Just sayin’.

In the meantime, though, have a great, safe and law-abiding Christmas weekend!

To review the stories upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.manewsfeed.com/springfield/cocaine-heroin-seized-in-major-drug-bust/ and
https://m.facebook.com/617763834951047/photos/pb.617763834951047.-2207520000.1419355171./829747363752692/?type=1&source=54

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