In Commonwealth v. Martin, a Massachusetts court considered a drug case in which a defendant filed motions to withdraw four guilty pleas related to 30 drug offenses. The case arose during the investigation of the defendant's boyfriend. Contraband was discovered in the defendant's car, a search warrant was executed at the defendant's home, and a controlled buy was conducted with the defendant's boyfriend's half-brother. After the investigation, there were four sets of indictments involving 12 substantive drug crimes involving cocaine trafficking, as well as school zone and conspiracy charges.
The defendant pled guilty to the 30 drug offenses. All six of the cocaine trafficking charges were reduced to a lesser offense: possession with intent to distribute. She pled guilty to these and all remaining charges except a charge of possession to distribute a class D substance, a school zone violation, and a firearm violation. She was sentenced to 5-8 years in state prison on the possession with intent to distribute charges and all but one conspiracy charge. She was also sentenced to five years of probation that would follow her time in prison on a conspiracy charge.
Three years later, she filed a motion to withdraw the pleas, arguing there had been no factual basis to establish some of the charges, her guilty pleas weren't made voluntarily or intelligently, and her attorney was ineffective in failing to file a motion to dismiss certain conspiracy counts that were duplicative and a motion to suppress. Her motions were denied. The judge ruled that the record showed that the defendant was informed of all elements and that the prosecutor recited facts establishing all of the charges.