Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

What Defenses Exist to Drug Trafficking Charges?

Charges were brought against 21 individuals in December of 2021 relating to a drug trafficking operation that included fentanyl, cocaine, and several illegal substances. The drugs were transported between Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Puerto Rico.  

Law enforcement believes the ring was led by a 31-year-old man, who is now accused of trading drugs wholesale as well as employing storage houses and couriers to store as well as distribute drugs. Law enforcement claims that the man received fentanyl from local individuals, but obtained cocaine from Puerto Rico. 

During the search, law enforcement states that almost 8 kilograms of cocaine were obtained from packages sent to the people now facing drug charges. Altogether, almost 11 kilograms of cocaine as well as almost 700 grams of fentanyl and more than $200,000 in proceeds from the drug trade was collected during the investigation. 

In May 2020, law enforcement began looking into the drug ring. Since December 2020, police have collected evidence of communication between members of the ring and their associates. These communications are claimed to show that the defendants distributed fentanyl and cocaine in Lawrence and the surrounding area. 

Like other criminal offenses, methods exist to defend yourself against drug trafficking charges. Like many other offenses, the exact defense that a person can raise depends on various facts present in your case. This article, however, reviews some of the most common defenses that people raise in response to charges of drug trafficking. 

I Was Unaware of Illegal Drugs

Many people traffic illegal drugs without even being aware that they are doing so. For example, a person operating a vehicle might be pulled over and discover that unbeknownst to the operator, the vehicle contains illegal drugs. Not being aware that a person was transporting drugs can be a powerful defense strategy to respond to trafficking charges. 

The Trafficking Was the Product of Threats

Sometimes, people are forced to traffick drugs as the result of threats. These threats can constitute direct threats of violence if a person declines to traffick drugs or threats to hurt or harm someone a person loves if the individual does not traffick drugs. Because the subject is engaging in the illegal activity only to protect themselves or their loved ones, this defense strategy can be used to defeat drug trafficking charges. 

Law Enforcement Lacked Adequate Search Paperwork 

Even if a person is engaged in drug trafficking, the law requires that authorities proceed through the appropriate steps before making a search or arrest. If law enforcement lacks a search warrant, a charge can later be tossed out. Even if drugs are obtained during a search, failure by law enforcement to not obtain a warrant sometimes negates a case. 

Contact a Dedicated Massachusetts Drug Defense Lawyer

Conviction for a drug offense in Massachusetts carries with it some serious penalties. If you or a loved one is charged with a drug offense in Massachusetts, one of the best things that you can do is obtain the assistance of a defense attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.