Willie Wilkerson is a pastor at the Mission Church on Quincy Street in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. Earlier this month, he was arrested on drug trafficking and intent to distribute charges following an investigation of the church, a food trailer, he owns and his home. In addition to crack cocaine and prescription pills, police found about $20,000 worth of stolen items and more than $10,000 in cash in his home.
Following the issuance of a search warrant, law enforcement discovered drugs, including crack, fentanyl, Klonopin, and oxycodone, hidden in printers and coffee makers. Materials and tools used to cut and package drugs were also found in the search. In addition to regular church services, the Mission Church also offers a 12-step recovery group for members with substance abuse issues.
Among the stolen items found in Wilkerson’s home were pieces of equipment belonging to an excavating company and other property that had recently been reported stolen. According to police, the investigation is still underway, and Wilkerson may wind up facing additional charges. Bail was set at $50,000 and the pastor must remain in Massachusetts and wear a GPS monitor. He is due in court on June 1. A Boston defense lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with drug trafficking.
Drug Trafficking Penalties in MA
Drug trafficking is a Class D felony in Massachusetts, and a conviction can put you behind bars for a long, long time. Penalties vary widely, based on the type of drug, aggravating circumstances, and past criminal history. However, the scenarios below may shed some light on what penalties you may be facing if convicted of drug trafficking.
- If found trafficking 50 pounds or more of an illegal drug, you may face up to 15 years in prison, with a one-year mandatory jail sentence.
- For at least 100 pounds but less than 2000 pounds of a drug, there is a three-year mandatory minimum sentence, but you may face up to 15 years in prison.
- You will face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, and up to 15 years, if you are found trafficking between 2000 and 9999 pounds of an illegal drug.
Heroin and Cocaine
Charges for the most dangerous drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, carry even more serious penalties. Trafficking Cocaine is a Class B felony and heroin is a Class A felony. If found trafficking up to 14 grams of cocaine or heroin, you may face up to 20 years in prison, with a five year mandatory minimum sentence. A MA defense attorney can help position you for the most favorable outcome if you’ve been charged with a drug crime.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Criminal Defense Law Firm
If you have been charged with any type of criminal offense, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting individuals charged with crimes for more than 50 years. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys understand that even good people can get into trouble with the law. In many cases, individuals charged with drug crimes benefit more from rehabilitation programs than from time behind bars. We will fight tirelessly to keep you out of jail and to keep your record clean. Alternative sentencing options exist for some drug charges, depending on the underlying offense and past criminal history. Don’t make the mistake of hiring the wrong attorney if you are facing charges for a drug crime. A drug conviction can negatively impact your ability to find housing, a job, and even to get loans, for years into the future. If you’re facing drug charges, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.