Articles Posted in Federal Crimes

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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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Eight arrested in drug trafficking operation

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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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SJC rules ‘social sharing’ of marijuana is not distribution; issues series of rulings clarifying pot law

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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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Mass. high court rules marijuana dealing charge is valid even when alleged dealer only possesses a small amount

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On Thursday as a result of an ongoing investigation two men from California were arrested after police discovered 66 pounds of cocaine in their tractor-trailer unit in Chelsea.

The two men arrested in Chelsea were from California and were brought to the Chelsea District Court on Friday. They are each charged with trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to violate the state’s drug laws. Trafficking in this amount of cocaine carries a 15 year mandatory minimum sentence if convicted.

Large amounts of drugs such as in this case are usually considered for federal prosecution rather than being handled at the state level. Whether they will be charged federally is yet to be determined.

Chelsea Drug trafficking attorney

In a separate incident a routine traffic stop in Dorchester led to the arrest of a man from Providence Rhode Island. He was stopped for failing to use a blinker, the rental car was driving was reported overdue. As the police inventoried the vehicle prior to it being towed the discovered 40 pounds of cocaine and 29 pounds of heroin.

The suspect was charged with trafficking in cocaine and trafficking in heroin in the Dorchester District Court and was held on $500,000 cash bail. Trafficking in heroin this amount carries a 15 year mandatory minimum sentence, trafficking in cocaine over 200 grams also carries a 15 year mandatory minimum sentence.

Dorchester drug trafficking lawyer

The use of the word trafficking signifies the mere amount possessed is of such a large quantity than the law presumes it is not mere possession for personal use but rather an amount which reflects the intent to distribute or sell the controlled substance. Mere possession is a different charge, distribution or sale of a controlled substance carries stiffer penalties. Distribution can be proven by the Commonwealth or the federal government by the sheer amount of the drug as we see in these cases or through other evidence of distribution such as how the drugs are packaged, scales, drug packaging material, large amounts of currency, and multiple cell phones beepers.

Frank Fernandez is a criminal defense attorney who represents clients throughout all of Massachusetts including Dorchester and Chelsea who are charged with drug trafficking and drug distribution. Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

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Drug busts yield 106 pounds of cocaine, 29 pounds of heroin, three arrests

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Eduardo Torres, 48, of Marlboro, was pulled over Saturday morning, September 24, for an expired inspection sticker. The officer noticed to open beer bottles and the smell of alcohol on his breath. After failing field sobriety tests Torres was arrested for being under the influence of alcohol. He has three prior alcohol-related offenses from California and to prior operating under the influence charges in Massachusetts, he was charged with a sixth offense OUI.

Torres was previously ordered deported by immigration and will be handed over to federal authorities after his criminal case is completed. The incident along with others involving illegal immigrants have drawn a lot of publicity to those immigrants who are here illegally and drive without a license or commit criminal offenses. Sheriff’s from local communities are using these latest incidents to draw attention to the secure communities program. The secure communities program requires that police run a suspects fingerprints through a database and alert federal officials if it is determined that the suspect is not the US with proper authorization.

Torres was held without bail and faces a mandatory minimum sentence if convicted. It appears he did not take the breathalyzer. OUI charges have an increasing scale when it comes to penalties based on the amount of prior offenses. A first offense OUI usually requires an alcohol program, a short loss of license as well as fines and fees; a second offense usually requires a two-week inpatient alcohol program; a third offense will require mandatory minimum sentence in jail with a long loss of license. Any subsequent offense after a third offense carries an even longer mandatory minimum sentence and eventually a permanent loss of license.

Frank Fernandez is a criminal defense attorney serving Boxborough and all surrounding communities in both criminal and civil litigation matters. Please contact us for a free consultation.

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Illegal Immigrant Faces 6th OUI Charge

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This took place after a national effort to find and remove illegal immigrants with prior criminal convictions some with multiple criminal convictions. US immigration and customs enforcement better known as ICE conducted a nationwide sweep that lasted seven days which detained immigrants with felony convictions such as: manslaughter attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes and aggravated assault. ICE named this operation crosscheck and said it was the largest of its kind involved over 1900 officers and agents from the 24 field offices with police organizations offering assistance.

19 arrests occurred in Boston, many of those arrested were already considered immigration fugitives in that they had been previously ordered removed from the country but failed to leave, some had been previously deported and had reentered illegally.

Some of those arrested were presented to both local and federal authorities for criminal prosecution at least 146 of those arrested were being considered for prosecution on a variety of charges including illegal reentry after deportation a federal charge which can carry up to 20 years in prison.

There has been a lot of press lately related to illegal immigrants and criminal conduct within the state of Massachusetts. Recently there’ve been at least two arrests for OUI, which is operating under the influence or drunk driving, one incident which led to the death of an innocent third party these accidents were caused by illegal immigrants driving without a license. Massachusetts does not allow for someone to obtain a license unless they have a Social Security number making it impossible for illegal immigrants to attain a Massachusetts driver’s license.

By 2013 ICE or immigration customs enforcement will be receiving notification from all local state authorities as to the arrest or stop of any person suspected of being in the United States without proper documentation. Many are calling for Congress to take action and reform the current state of affairs as it stands for illegal immigrants who have been living and working in this country while raising families. The recent arrests of illegal immigrants have brought this topic to the forefront in Massachusetts. There are staunch advocates on both sides. The one thing that remains clear is that congressional action must be taken to clarify and establish a clear set of guidelines and expectations for those illegal immigrants who have lived in the US for many years. Without clear guidelines they will continue to be growing communities of people without any legitimate status to work, drive or vote throughout all of the United States.

Frank Fernandez is a criminal defense attorney who practices in the Latin community in Massachusetts. He also provides representation in civil litigation matters such as personal injury and medical malpractice cases. He can be reached for free consultation at 617-393-0250.

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After a five-hour standoff with Revere, Everett and Malden police as well as FBI and SWAT teams police finally captured Rolando Gala, 29, of Boston. Gala is suspected of being the backstreet bandit responsible for the robbery of the Brookline bank in Malden as well as other robberies that have recently taken place in the area.

Police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant at 68 Dale St. in Revere when the suspect refused to come out of the home claiming to be armed. The Revere SWAT team eventually entered the home after a five-hour standoff in which they tried to convince Gala to come out of the house peacefully.

Gala was found hiding in the attic. Gala had been previously arrested in 2010 and accused of three robberies in Revere, Saugus and Malden. No weapons were said to have been used in those robberies and no one was injured. Gala will be arraigned on new charges of bank robbery related to the bank in Malden.

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Karen Morla Ramos, 22, flew into Boston from the Dominican Republic on a JetBlue flight early Sunday morning. U.S. Customs service and border protection grew suspicious after questioning her and performed a patdown search of her clothing. Over 1 kilogram of cocaine was discovered in what appeared to be a diaper concealed in her outer clothing.

She was arrested by customs service officers and charged with trafficking in cocaine. It is not unusual for drug traffickers to use children and young adults as mules to conceal drugs and sneak them into the country. The majority of these mules are given little information about the source of the drugs and are usually told that they will be given further instructions upon their arrival.

It is these mules that suffer in that they charged with trafficking in cocaine which carries long mandatory minimum sentences all for what amounts to very small pay for transporting drugs. Most mules are very poor and taken advantage of by the lure of a small payment.

Frank Fernandez is a criminal lawyer in Boston who handles drug trafficking charges. He has represented mules in both state and federal court. Please call for free consultation regarding your case.

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