Articles Posted in Drug Crimes

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Simple possession of drugs for personal use is a common charge.there is a heroin
epidemic in Massachusetts and all over the country. Heroin and opiate is a drug
which creates a strong craving in addicts. Heroin addicts are responsible for a
large amount of petty theft and armed robberies all for the purpose of getting
their next fix. Possession of drugs for personal use including heroin, cocaine,
ecstasy and prescription medications is dealt with every day in the Boston
courts. Sentences may become severe if a person becomes a repeat offender and also engages in violent crime to satisfy their addiction.

Other drug crimes include drug trafficking which basically is the possession of
a large amount of drugs which by law is considered to be an amount for
distribution. Trafficking in drugs in Massachusetts can lead to long mandatory
minimum sentences. Depending on the type of drug and the amounts
increasing mandatory minimums will apply. Possession of 18 grams of heroin
carries a 3 1/2 year mandatory minimum sentence in Massachusetts.  Possession of over 18 g of cocaine carries a two-year mandatory minimum sentence.  It is a sliding scale from there, all the way to over 200 g and more
triggering a 12 year mandatory minimum sentence. Drug trafficking in
Massachusetts is treated very seriously and can be prosecuted both in state and
federal court.

Federal agents engage in long surveillance operations in which
they tap phones and keep an eye on suspects getting as much evidence as possible before moving in and arresting all those involved. A group engaged in drug trafficking can be charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs in both state and federal court which is a charge that cast a wide net and makes it easy to prosecute anyone who did anything to further the conspiracy. A person who does not even handle the drugs but rather perform some other function in the conspiracy can still be held responsible for the whole amount of drugs that was reasonably foreseeable in the conspiracy. A conspiracy criminal charge in Massachusetts can hold someone responsible for the entire group and the entire amount of drugs involved.  Conspiracy charges are very broad and benefit the prosecutor in that anyone can be dragged up and considered as to helping the conspiracy.

Possession with intent to distribute a drug is charged when someone has
possession of an amount which is not enough to trigger trafficking but it
appears to be packaged or other evidence exists which suggests it was to be
distributed. Other evidence suggesting distribution are multiple cell phone,  large
amounts of cash, scales, baggies and any other drug distribution paraphernalia. Possession with intent to distribute can carry a harsher sentence then
possession for personal use.

As a Boston criminal drug trafficking attorney Frank Fernandez as represented
many clients in both state and federal court charged with drug
trafficking, possession with intent to distribute or possession of drugs for
personal use.

In Massachusetts if you were caught selling drugs within 300 feet of a school
zone or park this triggers a mandatory minimum sentence of two years on
and after any sentence for the distribution itself. The school zone charge or
distribution near a park or playground can lead to this added charge.

Call a drug lawyer in Boston with experience if charged with any type of drug
crime to get a free consultation call Frank Fernandez at 617-393-0250.

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Client was charged in Boston municipal court with two counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

Narcotic detectives testified that after seeing a person come and go from the clients apartment in a short time frame that they then knock on the client’s door to investigate based on a suspicion drug dealing was taking place. The detectives allege client allowed them to search his apartment. Narcotics officers discover crack floating in the toilet, the bathroom window open and a cell phone sitting on the ledge. They then discover a second suspect outside the apartment who was arrested for possession of drugs. In the clients bedroom they allege that they find a scale baggies and a packet of heroin. Client is charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

Client testifies at trial and states that he never gave permission for the police to search his apartment and that he had no knowledge of any drugs in his apartment.

After the jury deliberates for approximately one hour they return a verdict of not guilty as to both counts.

Frank Fernandez a criminal defense attorney in Boston handles cases related to drug distribution, possession and Trafficking and Drugs. Drug cases are handled throughout all of Massachusetts and range from district state and federal court.
Please call for a free consultation.

The elements which make up Possession with intent to distribute are:

POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE The defendant is charged with having unlawfully (distributed)
(possessed with the intent to distr ibute) a Class ___ controlled substance,
namely ____ .
Section ___ of chapter 94C of our General Laws provides as follows:
“Any person who knowingly or intentionally . . .
(distributes) (possesses with intent to . . . distribute)
a controlled substance
[categorized by the law] in Class ___ . . .
shall be punished . . . .”
In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
That the substance in question is a Class ___ controlled substance, namely _______ ;
That the defendant (distributed some perceptible amount of that substance to another person or persons) (possessed some perceptible amount of that substance with the intent
to distribute it to another person Instruction 7.800 Page 2 DISTRIBUTION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE;
That the defendant did so knowingly or intentionally.

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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.

By applying this reduction retroactively approximately 46,000 prisoners may receive up to a 25 month reduction in their sentence. This will alleviate some of the costs and housing of these prisoners and allow the federal prison system to focus on violent offenders and others deserving of long incarcerations. Drug offenders are being viewed as requiring treatment or rehabilitation rather than long incarceration.

It is out of necessity that Congress and the sentencing commission has finally realized that their strict and harsh sentencing of drug offenders has overburdened our prison system. Retroactive application of this guideline reduction still must be passed by Congress which is expected. The reductions will then begin in November with a review of each individual Case to see whether there would be any danger to public safety prior to approving the release.

Congress waged a war on drugs with extreme penalties against drug offenses such as trafficking in drugs and distribution. Trafficking means possession of such a large quantity of drugs that it can be assumed it is not for personal use but rather distribution. When you hear of a trafficking charge it means that the person is being charged with possession with the intent to distribute based on the large amount of drugs in their possession. The war on drugs filled our federal prisons with a large amount of drug traffickers. These drug traffickers have been overpopulating our prsions requiring taxpayers to pay for new prisons and have overcrowded the existing system. Our federal prison system cannot handle the volume and length of inmate sentences it has been supporting. Something needs to change, thus the recommendation to reduce sentences for non-violent drug offenders to relieve some of this pressure.

Frank Fernandez is a Boston criminal lawyer who handles federal drug cases.
Crimes ranging from drug trafficking to possession with intent to distribute both in federal and state court are carefully reviewed and represented. As a Boston criminal lawyer Mr. Fernandez agrees with this new reduction and is happy to offer a free consultation for those facing drug related charges in either federal or state court. For free consultation please call 617-393-0250.

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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.

The distribution ring was tied to two locations, one in Hyde Park which was a pick up point for customers, and another in Braintree where one of the main suspects resided. All eight are charged in federal court in Boston with Drug Trafficking in Heroin.

Frank Fernandez is a Boston criminal defense lawyer who focuses on the criminal defense of drug charges. Including possession, drug trafficking, possession with intent to distribute and distribution of drugs.

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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.

Many evidence lockers and police departments merely require personnel to sign in to gain access to both pending and closed cases relevant evidence.

Rules of evidence require that any evidence, such as drugs, be kept in a fashion that it can be shown exactly who handled that specific evidence from the time it was discovered to the time of trial. This is what is referred to as chain of custody. This entails placing evidence in marked containers which are then initialed by the officers who did so and any other officer or personnel who later come into contact with this evidence. All this is done to ensure that the evidence remains as it was found.

Police departments have been criticized for having procedures which are lacking in preserving the security of evidence. With technological advances that exist today police departments should be required to have a better system to safeguard evidence in their possession
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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.

There is no doubt that this will lead to further cases being appealed and potentially overturned.

Frank Fernandez is a criminal defense attorney who deals with drug offenses including drug trafficking, possession with the intent to distribute and federal conspiracy drug offenses. Feel free to call for free consultation 617-393-0250.

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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.

In another ruling the S JC ruled that the police did not have the authority to search a vehicle based on the occupants smelling like marijuana and finding a small amount of marijuana on their person. So like the first case discussed police are restricted from searching the vehicle based solely on a civil infraction related to marijuana. The district attorney argued that this case was different from the first in that the police should be allowed to search further to make sure that the crime of driving under the influence of drugs is not being committed. The Supreme Court refused to delve into this specific issue since the district attorney did not argue and preserve the issue in the lower court rulings. Driving under the influence of marijuana still may be charged as a criminal offense if ones driving is impaired. If police believe someone is under the influence of drugs while driving, including marijuana, they will most likely be able to further investigate and search a vehicle without a warrant.

Frank Fernandez is a Boston criminal defense attorney who offers free consultations. As a Boston criminal lawyer his firm handles all types of criminal cases including drug offenses in both State and Federal Court. Feel free to call for a free consultation 617-319-6652.

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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.

Charges of larceny or stealing as well as possession of painkillers or sedatives are cases that are routinely handled by the criminal law office of Frank Fernandez. Mr. Fernandez is a Boston criminal defense attorney who is happy to answer any questions related to your specific criminal drug or larceny case and can be reached at 617-393-0250.

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A state drug lab responsible for testing illegal drugs seized from defendant’s was closed because of mishandling of evidence by chemists.

Thousands of cases both pending and closed can be affected by this misconduct. It appears at least one chemist falsified data related to drug analysis and testing which calls into question the results of drug tests related to thousands of cases.

Defendants convicted and serving sentences for drug related cases have reason to file motions to vacate and reopen their cases. All types of cases involving drugs such as heroin, cocaine, as well as many other street drugs may have been compromised because of this breach.

In drug trafficking cases the Commonwealth must not only prove that the substance is actually an illegal drug but that the weight is actually a trafficking amount.

Frank Fernandez is a criminal defense lawyer who practices all over Massachusetts and represents clients in all types of drug cases in both state and federal court including possession with intent to distribute, trafficking and possession for personal use involving cocaine, heroin and all other types streak narcotics.

There is no doubt that the closure of this state drug lab will affect thousands of cases. For free consultation by Boston criminal defense lawyer as to your specific situation and how it may be effective please feel free to call Frank Fernandez at 617-393-0250.

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Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in Massachusetts for personal use has been decriminalized since 2008. To possess less than an ounce of marijuana for personal use is now a civil offense and would subject you to $100 fine.

Possession with the intent to distribute marijuana or the sale of marijuana is still considered illegal. Just today the Supreme Court of Massachusetts decided a case which involve less than an ounce of marijuana in relation to a charge of possession with intent to distribute. The accused in this case was found to be in possession of a few baggies of marijuana totaling less than 6 grams. A District Court judge dismissed the case based on arguments that the decriminalization of less than an ounce of marijuana also applied to possession with intent distribute less than an ounce of marijuana. Prosecutors appealed the case and now the Supreme Court of Massachusetts has agreed with the Commonwealth in that possession with intent to distribute marijuana no matter what the amount is still a criminal offense.

Frank Fernandez is a drug crimes lawyer Massachusetts. Boston criminal drug offenses ranging from hundreds of kilos of cocaine in federal court to possession of cocaine for personal use are matters in which Frank Fernandez has years of experience litigating.

It is important to understand that although possession of marijuana for personal use has been decriminalized as long as it is less than an ounce a person can still be charged with the intent to distribute if there is any evidence which would show intent to sell.

The type of evidence used to prove the intent to distribute are things such as the manner of packaging, whether the drugs are in small multiple baggies; whether the person has a large amount of cash on them, or multiple cell phones or pagers, scales or packaging like plastic baggies.

Although possession of marijuana for personal use is not a crime is still a crime to possess. Finale such as a glass pipe or a dugout, a small wooden box used to hold a small amount of marijuana and a metal cigarette to smoke it with
A drug crimes lawyer in Boston, Frank Fernandez is available for a free consultation, contact him directly at 617-393-0250.

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