Some MA folks think that the authorities only conduct criminal investigations into drug operations when the drugs, themselves, are illegal, such as in the cases of heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
These people should think again.
Take the case of Marino S., of Peabody (hereinafter, the “Defendant”), for example. Suffolk County prosecutors allege that he is a major supplier of prescription drugs in Greater Boston. He was arrested for the second time in nearly three months on Friday.
In fact, the arrest took place as he entered the Boston Municipal Court.
The Defendant was entering the BMC when state police and federal agents arrested him on charges that he was the kingpin of a drug ring responsible for 5,000 Percocet pills seized at the MBTA’s Copley Square station on Thursday, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.
According to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office, the trail that led to the Defendant started with a cooperating witness who agreed to take the seized pills to an East Boston hotel on Thursday.
By the time the Defendant was arrested, the authorities already had at least two
cooperating witness, both ready to testify that the Defendant was the one pulling the strings in the criminal conspiracy.
“The evidence suggests an organized, sophisticated drug enterprise with a kingpin at its top,” Conley said in a statement. Prosecutors estimated the pills could fetch as much as $150,000 on the street.
The Defendant had already been facing charges since June by law enforcement officials investigating the illegal sale of prescription drugs in Greater Boston. Conley’s office also indicated that the Defendant is a cook at a pizza shop… but had a box with $52,000 in cash when he was arrested this summer.
The Defendant has pleaded not guilty, had bail set at $250,000 cash on the new case. The court also revoked the bail the Defendant had set in the first case.
The investigation is continuing, prosecutors said.
Attorney Sam’s Take:
In this case, it is interesting to note that the investigation is “still continuing”. Often that means that the authorities are looking to go up the criminal food chain. However, at the same time, they are alleging that the Defendant is the top of said chain and that they already have their evidence on him.
You will note that federal investigators are involved in this matter, yet the case has been brought in state court.
This could mean a number of things.
First of all, the fact that the matter is in the BMC, a district court, is virtually without meaning. It will, in all likelihood, not stay there. Given the allegations, one would expect it would at least be moved to Superior Court because a case of this magnitude, not to mention publicity, will justify a Grand Jury Indictment.
The federal participation in this case could mean that the matter will be mirrored by a matter soon to be appearing in federal court. In fact, it could also mean that this case, after “further investigation” will move to federal court.
Should this case stay in state court, it will not preclude there being similar charges brought in federal court. You see, there is clearly some suspicion that this operation extends to outside the Commonwealth. Should that be the case, then the federal court will be the court with jurisdiction to deal with such a conspiracy.
Many people believe that if there is one case in state court, then the feds cannot bring their own case. This is untrue. As discussed in previous blogs, there can be additional allegations made which make it possible for federal authorities to bring their own version of the case despite the fact that there is a related matter going through the state court system.
Before you ask, no, that is not “double jeopardy“. For further explanation on that, feel free to look at last Friday’s blog which you can read here.
It can be a complicated business, this criminal justice system. This is why, if you are being brought into its clutches, you want to have an experienced lawyer by your aside to act as tour guide, advisor and advocate for you.
Should you wish to discuss such a case with me, please feel free to call me to arrange a free initial consultation at 617-492-3000.
For the original story upon which today’s blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/09/_a_peabody_man.html