June 29th 2012
Drug, Possession to Distribute Class A Chapter 94C Section 32A (a)
Unlawful Drug Possession Chapter 94C Section 34
Drug Violation Near School/Park Chapter 94C 32 J
Client was employed in the construction field and work was slow. According to the police, they saw client (with whom they were familiar) pull behind another car that they were secretly watching. They observed client’s passenger get out of the car and sell heroin to a young couple. The police were there at the right time and the right place. In fact, the group of officers observing the transaction was from the Special Response Team (SRT), which consisted of experienced, knowledgeable drug enforcement officers. Their hunch of illegal activity was correct---they witnessed a drug transaction. The police arrested all involved and client was charged with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute within a school zone. The last charge, intent to distribute within a school zone carries a two year house of correction jail sentence. That two-year sentence is mandatory. When a charge is mandatory, that means no suspended sentence, house arrest, or probation—the person must go to a correctional facility for two years (eligible for parole after one year). For some “mandatory” charges there are provisions for a suspended sentence---but not with a “school zone charge”. The case proceeded through the court system for nearly a year. The other people that were arrested at the same time, called (co-defendants), were represented by other lawyers and admitted to guilt. Any admission of guilt for Attorney Barabino’s client was unacceptable---a decision he and his client made early on in the case. However, when prior to a hearing an offer of dismissing the school zone charge and the distribution charge and admitting to “sufficient facts” for the possession charge was proposed, client was ready to agree to a deal. In addition, client consented to forfeiting his nearly $1,000 in cash, which was located on his person. If he remains out of trouble for a year, his charge will be dismissed entirely.
RESULT: School Zone, DISMISSED, Intent to Distribute, DISMISSED, Possession Charge, NOT GUILTY.