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.

SALEM MAN IS CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING IN HEROIN (Part One)

Allen Delisle, 29, hereinafter, the “Defendant” learned about law enforcement and allegations about the drug trade yesterday according to the Salem Daily News.

The Defendant was held on $100,000 cash bail at Salem District Court. The next date is scheduled to be for a probable cause hearing. Translation? The Commonwealth is going to indict him

According to the Commonwealth, after two pre-warrant buys from the Defendant, A search warrant was executed Friday afternoon. The Defendant was allegedly found with more than 2 ounces of heroin in his rooming house . As a result, he stands charged with heroin trafficking and distribution of drugs near a school or park.

The Commonwealth claims that it recovered thousands of dollars in cash in the pockets of the Defendant  as well as thousands of dollars worth of heroin. Packaging materials were also apparently discovered

The Defendant faces a mandatory minimum of seven years in state prison if convicted.

The issue of coming up with the bail might turn out to be moot. Apparently, he is also currently on probation. Very likely, the Department of Probation will seek to bring a surrender hearing and send him into the not so warm arms of involuntary housing

Attorney Sam’sTake On The Typical Evidence Of A Drug Trafficking Case

It seems I have been surrounded by drug cases ever since I graduated out of law school.

A great deal of my time as a prosecutor in Brooklyn New York was spent prosecuting these cases and, since around 1990, I have been defending them back at home in the Commonwealth. While some of the terms used in the two states differ, as well as some of the “weaponry”, the basic police tactics tend to be the same.

When law enforcement conducts a high-scale drug investigation, whether it is federal, state or joint, you will usually find the following elements.

1. Fancy name
I’m not quite sure how this helps, aside for political reasons, but law enforcement in Massachusetts seems to see this as critical. They give the operations special names like “Operation Off The Street” or “”Operation Dump The Dealers”. From what I can see, there is not very much evidentiary value to this…but it sure sounds impressive.

2. Pre-warrant buys

Sometimes it is an under cover officer. Sometimes it is a confidential informant. Either way, law enforcement wants to have drugs purchased before a search warrant is executed.

There are a few reasons. One reason is that the police may not think they have enough evidence to get a search warrant. So, they get drugs purchased from the location and put the information about it into the application
For the warrant.

Another reason is to make sure a location is currently open for buisiness and there are “targets” inside.

One more reason has to do with the location of money.

3. Money

There are really two ways the recovery of money at drug locations near are helpful to the governments case. One of these, surprisingly, seems seldom used in Massachusetts. We used it all the time in New York.

This would have to do with the money used to buy the drugs just before a warrant is executed. One is photocopying the “buy money” and comparing it to money found. This “pre-recorded buy money” can be very strong evidence. Anther such tool is putting some kind of powder on the money so that it stains the hands of those who touch it.

Of course in this day and age, the latter is more dangerous as the targets could have the type of lamp to see when powdered money is given to them, thus exposing the undercover buyer.

Of course, simply finding great amounts of money at an alleged drug location is helpful to the governments case in any event. Drugs being a cash business and all.

We will go over a few more tomorrow.

 

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