Welcome to the year 2009, more than twenty years after 1984, which was the title of a famous book by George Orwell. The book depicted a society where “Big Brother”, the government, was always watching. Ironically, while the show “Big Brother” was not the downfall of Adam J., a 31-year-old PR executive, (hereinafter, the “Defendant”), the government was. It was about a week ago, while in Massachusetts, that he developed the need for a defense attorney.
Big Brother is a CBS reality show that films contestants 24 hours, 7 days a week and makes them evict fellow houseguests one by one for a chance to win the big prize. The Defendant won the money in April 2008. He may not have been evicted then, but he risks being convicted now.
The charge? He is charged with, and has purportedly admitted to, trying to sell 2,000 oxycondone pills to a government informant. He is also said to have admitted that he used his $500,000 Big Brother prize money to purchase the drugs, which he distributed along the east coast for months.
Of course, the Defendant had experienced some trouble before his recent stay in Commonwealth housing. For example, he lost his job at an autism foundation when he referred to autistic children in a derogatory way while being filmed for the show.
The Defendant apparently eager to prove that his judgment has not improved over time, is said to have resisted arrest when the DEA agents came to apprehend him. They also say that he tried the ol’ “Not On Me” self-help defense as well. Namely, he through a sock of the drugs on the ground so that they were not specifically on his body the moment the agents grabbed him.
Not the most clever tactic in the game of criminal justice.
His potential prize in this particular reality game is up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
Attorney Sam’s Take:
Well, being that he has the Big Brother experience behind him, the Defendant is used to being locked in a big house and under constant surveillance. It may even be that he missed it, which is why he did such a good job getting back to his surroundings of glory.
The Defendant is in big trouble. First of all, he was apparently the target of a federal drug investigation. The fact that it was federal (DEA agents are usually involved in federal, not simply local, drug investigations) investigation indicates that they suspect he was involved with drug trafficking between states. Likely, from Florida, which is where he lives.
Second of all, he is facing felony charges. Throwing the drugs onto the street did not change this.
As we have discussed in the past, he can be charged with the drugs even if they were not found on his person at the moment of arrest through the theory of “Constructive Possession”. The fact that he did it right in front of the agents so that they saw it did not help too much either.
Arguably, if the drugs had been found on his person, he could have had an argument to challenge the seizure of the drugs and perhaps prevent the government from using them as evidence.
Next, he has done pretty much everything possible to make his situation worse upon arrest. He allegedly struggled with the police, for example. As we have discussed, this is a bad idea for many reasons…the least of which being that it was a fight he was never going to win. Now, he has handed the prosecution additional evidence against himself (consciousness of guilt) and also given the judge more reason to keep him incarcerated through higher bail as a flight risk.
And, of course, finally…he allegedly made a full confession. This could mean that he basically now belongs to the federal authorities. He accepted the law enforcement argument that, “hey, confess and we will make sure it goes easier for you. It is not really you that we are after anyway. Play ball with us.” If he has, indeed, joined the ball team, he walked into the bind of either cooperating to their satisfaction or simply strengthening the government’s case against him.
Either way, his options are now quite limited.
Drug crimes can be prosecuted locally or federally. They are quite serious. The arrests often arise from an ongoing investigation, which means that law enforcement has already put a great deal of time, effort and money into it. They do not do this simply to catch their fish and throw him back.
These prosecutions effect lives long-term and are to be taken extremely seriously. If you find yourself facing such charges, or an investigation relating to such charges, you want to find experienced counsel to represent and advise you. If you are interested in speaking to me about such a matter, please feel free to call me at (617) 206-1942.
For the full articles upon which today’s blog is based, go to http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20314241,00.html and http://www.examiner.com/x-13895-Orange-County-Reality-TV-Examiner~y2009m10d20-Big-Brother-9-winner-arrested-for-using-prize-money-to-buy-and-sell-drugs
NOTE TO READERS Yes, it is apology time . Friday’s court schedule made it impossible to get a blog up on Friday. I hope you had a good, safe and law-abiding weekend without me.