Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Four Things to Remember About Massachusetts Fentanyl Trafficking Charges

The Hampden District Attorney has revealed that investigators discovered three kilograms of pure fentanyl as well as cash, cocaine, and guns in raids that occurred in Belchertown and Springfield in December 2020.  

One kilo of cocaine was found in a box under a Christmas tree at the home of a suspected drug trafficker. Massachusetts troopers had stopped the man’s vehicle on December 5th and discovered a kilo of cocaine in it. Two days after the man was arrested, Massachusetts troopers discovered two other men with 2.8 kilos of fentanyl in the backs of their vehicles. A day later, two other men were arrested and charged with illegal gun possession, drug trafficking, and other criminal offenses. 

The Hampden District attorney stated that a large amount of fentanyl is believed to be in the area. He also stated that the arrests and drug seizures were the result of investigatory efforts by several departments. The suspects are currently still being arraigned in a court of law. 

If you or a loved one is charged with trafficking in narcotics, it helps to understand some important details about the nature of these charges. 

What it Means to Traffick Drugs

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 94C Controlled Substances Act, Section 32E(c) defines the act of drug trafficking as either intentionally or knowingly distributing, dispensing, manufacturing, or possessing with the intent to distribute, dispense, or manufacture a controlled substance. 

Trafficking Carries Harsh Penalties

Drug trafficking convictions in Massachusetts can result in substantial penalties. This often includes a minimum period of imprisonment as well as fines. Additionally, those convicted of drug trafficking, and sometimes even those who are simply charged, end up facing challenges that substantially disrupt their personal and professional lives. 

Elements of a Drug Trafficking Conviction

To convict a person of drug trafficking, the prosecution must establish several elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements include the following: 

  • The defendant either intentionally or knowingly

  • Had active or constructive possession of the substance

  • The amount possessed satisfies the established trafficking definitions

  • The substance was possessed with the intent of being distributed to another 

Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges Exist

Several common defenses are raised in response to drug trafficking charges. One of the most common strategies is to file a motion to suppress, which can end up impacting what evidence is permitted to be used at a trial. Motions to suppress might establish that the search of a person, home, or vehicle was unconstitutional, that the informant who provided details leading to the arrest was unreliable, or that an initial traffic stop that led to the discovery of drugs was unlawful. 

It is also sometimes possible to argue that a drug trafficking charge should be reduced to a criminal charge that carries less stringent penalties.

Do Not Hesitate to Obtain the Assistance of a Criminal Defense Lawyer

It is often a confusing and overwhelming experience to face criminal charges in Massachusetts. One of the best things you can do in such a situation is to obtain the assistance of a skilled defense attorney. Do not hesitate to contact Attorney Edward R. Molari so that he can begin protecting your rights and fighting for the results you deserve.