A proposed reduction in sentences of federal drug offenses is slated to apply retroactively to 46,000 non-violent drug offenders currently incarcerated

July 19, 2014,

The federal sentencing commission is recommending the reduction in drug
sentences
be applied retroactively to 46,000 prisoners currently incarcerated.
The sentencing commission has recently recommended that a two level reduction in
the guideline level be applied to all drug offenses.

The reduction is based on attempting to minimize the amount of nonviolent drug
offenders who are incarcerated in the federal system. The strict and harsh sentencing in federal drug cases has led to a serious overpopulation of federal prisons which has placed the majority of these prisons at overcapacity and cost the taxpayer vasts amounts of money to attempt to keep
up with the ever-increasing prison population.

Nonviolent drug offenders have faced extreme mandatory minimum sentences and
very high guideline levels; the sentencing commission is attempting to curb this
trend. Eric Holder the Attorney General has also recommended to his offices that
they avoid charging extreme mandatory minimums which do not allow judges to
exercise discretion against nonviolent drug offenders.

Continue reading "A proposed reduction in sentences of federal drug offenses is slated to apply retroactively to 46,000 non-violent drug offenders currently incarcerated" »

The charge of Accosting a person of the opposite sex in Massachusetts

July 12, 2014,

The charge of accosting a person of the opposite sex requires an act or statement to be made which is disorderly and offensive to a reasonable person and the appellate courts have interpreted this charge to require the offense to be of a sexual nature.

As a criminal defense lawyer based in Boston serving all of Massachusetts Attorney Frank Fernandez represents clients charged with accosting a person of the opposite sex. For a free consultation please feel free to call 617-393-0250.

The Massachusetts Model Jury Instruction for this charge is below:

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Boston Police Officer arrested over weekend for unauthorized use of police cruiser

July 7, 2014,

A Boston police officer who has been on administrative leave since
September 2013 was arrested after taking a police cruiser he was not authorized
to use. The police cruiser was taken from Dist. C 11 in Dorchester, it appears he
drove to Revere and was involved in a domestic incident that the Revere police are
now investigating.

Donovan was arrested after the police car was found in Dorchester near his residence
on Friday night. He's been an officer since 2002 and has criminal charges
pending related to larceny and now unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charges
as well.

Every police department has an internal affairs division which investigate any
complaints or suspicions of illegal activity from police in that department. Any
allegations of police abuse or criminal activity will be investigated by the
internal affairs division. Officers can suffer anything from suspension and
firing to other disciplinary type proceedings which are then put in their
personnel file.

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Truck Driver is not indicted by Grand Jury in Suffolk for accident in which bicyclist was killed

June 30, 2014,

A Suffolk County Grand Jury decided not to indict a truck driver, Ricky Prezioso, 41,
who was initially charged with leaving the scene of an accident that caused the
death of a bicyclist. The accident occurred in Charlestown on Cambridge
Street where a bicyclist traveling in the bike lane was struck by the back of a
trash truck at a corner while the truck was taking a turn. The truck driver
claims not to have seen the biker and claims that he thought the impact was a
pothole that he must have run over.

Although initially charged by the police and the prosecutor in Charlestown district court, for a case to be indicted, which then allows the case to go to Superior Court, it either must be true billed by a grand jury or through a probable cause hearing in court in which a judge finds probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed.

Probable cause hearings are very rare in Massachusetts, the prosecutors do not wish to present testimony and face cross-examination in such an early stage in their case. Most cases that are brought to Superior Court go the route of being indicted by grand jury; the grand jurys across the state are notoriously delayed and take a long time for cases to be
processed. A backlog exists because this is the only manner in which the
District Attorney's Office takes cases to Superior Court.

Continue reading "Truck Driver is not indicted by Grand Jury in Suffolk for accident in which bicyclist was killed" »

Chelsea Man is arraigned in Chelsea District Court for seriously beating woman with a pipe leaving her in critical condition

June 17, 2014,

It is alleged that he ran into the woman early in the morning on his way home, she offered sex, they returned to his apartment, after having sex he noticed his computer was missing. He grabbed her bag and found that his computer was inside. At this point he grabbed a metal pipe and began to beat her about the head and body, he carried her outside and left her on the street. He's charged with armed assault with intent to murder and aggravated assault and battery causing serious bodily injury.

Police say that he did admitted hitting the woman in the head with a pipe after confronting her about the computer. His defense attorney mentioned that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time. There is no mention of sex for a fee so it appears that they agreed consensually to go home with each other. It is when he noticed the laptop missing that he appears to have become violent. Her body was discovered around 4:30am today after neighbors heard her screaming for help on the street.

The Judge set bail at $100,000. The man has no prior record but since the beating was so severe he is charged with the intent to murder and was given a high bail.

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20-year-old New Hampshire woman arrested at Tewksbury library for offering sex for a fee.

June 13, 2014,

The police received a tip that a woman was soliciting men for sex for a fee at the
Tewksbury library. An undercover detective responded and quickly was engaged by
a woman exchanging notes offering sexual favors for $60. She was arrested for
prostitution and it is learned she had outstanding charges for drug possession.

The city of Boston through Mayor Walsh has recently announced a new tactic for
combating sex trafficking by targeting the John's when it comes to prostitution.
Usually it is the prostitute who is arrested and charged with a crime when it
comes to prostitution. This new tactic will offer more support and services to
prostitutes to help them get off the streets.

Continue reading "20-year-old New Hampshire woman arrested at Tewksbury library for offering sex for a fee." »

Eight arrested and charged federally in heroin drug trafficking ring

June 11, 2014,

The death of the confidential informant from an overdose lead to Braintree detectives accessing his cell phone and text messages.

That information led to a source who cooperated with the police and after an investigation including surveillance they were able to arrest eight of the suspected distributors.

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Man wrongly accused of sexual assault in Boston Municipal Court demands an apology

April 10, 2014,

Ross Currier, 26, an accountant was seen in the North end of Boston playing basketball by a woman who had been recently sexually assaulted. She told police that she was 90 to 95% sure that he was the man who assaulted her. Currier was arrested and charged with sexual assault, he was released on bail and forced to wear a GPS bracelet on his leg this past month.

It was only after his alibi checked out through independent witnesses that the prosecutor agreed that they had arrested the wrong man. The case was dismissed in Boston Municipal Court and Currier made a statement to the press requesting someone take responsibility for what happened and apologize.

This incident is a strong reminder of how eye witnesses and victims can misidentify a suspect very easily. What happens in a traumatic moment can be remembered far differently than what actually occurred. Our brains process and remember sensory input differently and memory accuracy is affected by stress and anxiety.

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9 Alarm fire in Back Bay brownstone in Boston claims two firefighter's lives

March 28, 2014,

Lieut. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy were killed battling a large fire which started in the basement of a brownstone and spread quickly to the upper levels of the building.

The fire is still being investigated and cause at this time remains unknown. A large explosion occurred as the fire grew and high winds accelerated the spread of fire.

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Lieutenant of the Ludlow Police Department is charged with stealing drugs out of the evidence locker

March 12, 2014,

Lt. Thomas Foye was recently indicted related to charges that he took drugs from narcotics locker at the police station.

He is charged with tampering with evidence, theft of drugs from a dispensary as well as cocaine possession.

Police department's manner of logging in and warehousing evidence has long been criticized as overdue for better procedures to ensure chain of custody and security of the evidence.

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Victor Gerena, 35, died today while cleaning a large machine in a New Bedford seafood plant

January 17, 2014,

Early this morning while cleaning a large shucking machine, Mr. Gerena became entangled in a rotary turbine engine. The fire department had to partially dismantle the machine to free Mr. Gerena, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation has been opened by the occupational safety and health administration (OSHA); investigators interviewed witnesses and gathered information this morning. The investigation is expected to take several weeks.

Continue reading "Victor Gerena, 35, died today while cleaning a large machine in a New Bedford seafood plant " »

Kate Corbett a chemist at the same state laboratory as Annie Dookhan was fired for falsifying her educational background

November 26, 2013,

Kate Corbett claimed to have a degree from Merrimack College in chemistry, her degree was actually in sociology. She claims that she was under the impression she had taken enough chemistry classes to also qualify for a chemistry degree. Although she is not accused of having falsified testing results it is clear that as early as August of this year she testified in establishing herself as an expert that she did have a bachelors in chemistry.

Those defendants who were convicted of a drug offense including drug trafficking and possession with Kate Corbett as the testifying chemist have grounds to file a motion for new trial based on misleading testimony related to her background.

Continue reading "Kate Corbett a chemist at the same state laboratory as Annie Dookhan was fired for falsifying her educational background " »

Recent Supreme Judicial Court(SJC) decisions help clarify the new law which decriminalizes possession of an ounce or less of marijuana

April 6, 2013,

The new law which makes it legal to possess an ounce or less of marijuana for personal use has left many confused as to what is legal when it comes to possessing or using marijuana. Possession of any amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute is still a crime. Growing marijuana in any amount is still a crime. Possession of drug paraphernalia, such as a pipe, grinder or any other type of smoking device when possessed with marijuana is still a crime.

The supreme judicial Court has recently decided a some cases which help clarify some gray areas that existed.

The first case involved the police searching the backpack of a young man after witnessing him share a marijuana joint with others in public. The District Attorney's Office argued that the police had the right to search the backpack without a warrant based on their observations of him sharing marijuana with others. The Supreme Court ruled the search of the backpack without a warrant was illegal. The ruling makes it clear that sharing a joint with others is not considered distribution of marijuana and that such an offense is merely a civil infraction which does not open the door for the police to search a person or his property further. So this means that police are limited in their ability to search when encountering a civil marijuana infraction. As a side note approximately 23 grams of marijuana was found in the backpack which is less than an ounce, but the marijuana was packaged in ten small baggies leading the police to charge possession with the intent distribute. Evidence used by police to prove intent to distribute is usually the amount of drugs, manner in which it is packaged, large amounts of currency or cell phones/beepers, scales, baggies or any other evidence of distribution.

Continue reading "Recent Supreme Judicial Court(SJC) decisions help clarify the new law which decriminalizes possession of an ounce or less of marijuana" »

Boston woman arrested for armed robbery using a syringe

January 2, 2013,

On December 17 female entered a secondhand clothing store and threatened the cashier with a syringe if she did not receive all the cash in the drawer.

This happened at a store called second time around located on Newbury Street.

On December 29 police officers spotted the woman who was suspected of having committed this robbery in the South End of Boston in the area of E. Berkeley St. and Shawmut Avenue. Her name is Sheila King and she now faces charges of armed robbery.

Armed robbery can be committed with more than just Gun. Any weapon which can cause harm if used during a robbery can lead to an armed robbery charge.

Frank Fernandez is a Boston criminal lawyer who has represented clients charged with armed robbery, receiving stolen property, larceny over $250 as well as a variety of other theft related charges.


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Boston Paramedic accused of stealing painkillers and sedatives from ambulances

November 26, 2012,

A Boston paramedic has pleaded not guilty to stealing painkillers and sedatives which he allegedly took from ambulances that he worked in. Benoit was charged with 73 counts of stealing drugs in Suffolk Superior Court. It's alleged that during the summer of 2011 painkillers and sedatives intended for patients were taken from ambulances and in some cases replaced with other types of liquids.

Cases like these are treated seriously in that there is a breach of trust and especially when it involves the medical field and the treatment of patients.

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