Two New York City men were arrested on marijuana trafficking charges in August 2020 as the result of a multi-million-dollar marijuana operation they ran out of their Savoy home. Massachusetts law enforcement states that 3,598 marijuana plants estimated to be worth more than $3 million were discovered during a search of the home. The investigation came after Eversource utility workers responded to an electrical problem near the home and discovered that wires had been damaged and overloaded from excessive electricity being sent to the house. Law enforcement later found that utility records showed the home used $10,000 in electricity each month. Bail for both men was set at $100,000.
If you are charged in Massachusetts with growing marijuana, you can face serious penalties that can create challenges that last the rest of your life. Because “grow houses” are becoming more common throughout the country, law enforcement is pursuing these charges more aggressively than ever. To assess whether a person is growing marijuana, law enforcement utilizes various techniques including the analysis of electricity and water usage. There are several helpful tips to follow if you are charged with any offense related to the cultivation of marijuana.
Law Enforcement Searches Must be Constitutional
Law enforcement officers must perform searches of property that are lawful and reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Warrantless searches by law enforcement officers are presumed to be unreasonable unless law enforcement can establish an exception to the warrant requirement. Even if law enforcement obtains a warrant, there are times when judges mistakenly issue warrants based on insufficient evidence. Remember, the Fourth Amendment only applies to the actions of government actors and does not apply to private citizens.
Not All Informants are Reliable
Law enforcement often relies on testimonies from people who purchase marijuana from the cultivation center to prosecute these offenders. While informants can be utility workers, they are more often small scale marijuana dealers who view the cultivation as a threat to their business. Many times these informants provide law enforcement with information that is either a lie or a distortion of the truth. An aggressive attorney can help you vigorously cross-examine informants.
Detection Methods can Often be Attacked
While law enforcement might rely on an assessment of electricity usage to detect a grow house, law enforcement frequently relies on more advanced technology including electronic wiretaps, GPS tracking devices, and other types of cutting-edge technology. Sometimes if law enforcement uses these techniques to interfere in areas where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, it is possible to attack any evidence gained through this method. An experienced lawyer can assess each method that law enforcement utilized to make a charge.
Speak with a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense in Massachusetts, it is critical to act quickly. Do not hesitate to contact attorney Edward R. Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.