In Commonwealth v. Dominguez, a Massachusetts Appeals Court considered a drug distribution case. The defendant, Jose Dominguez, was convicted of distributing the class B substance of cocaine, which is a violation of MGL c. 94C, § 32A(b), and doing so in a school zone, thereby violating MGL c. 94C, § 32J. The defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient and that the judge shouldn’t have admitted implied hearsay by two police officers.
The case arose when an officer and a detective were in an unmarked car near the door of a CVS. They were conducting surveillance and saw Danielle and Alan Frieta standing nearby. Danielle was looking at her cell phone, and the detective thought she looked like she was hoping to buy narcotics. Danielle walked toward the CVS and met Dominguez there. Talking, they stepped into the vestibule. Their hands touched, but the officer saw nothing in their hands and the two left the vestibule. Then Dominguez walked one way, and both Danielle and Alan Frieta walked a different way, going into a car parked on the side of the road.
The officer got out of the police car and stopped Dominguez. He identified himself as an officer and read the defendant his Miranda rights. He then searched the defendant’s pockets and found a one-dollar bill in one pocket and four twenty-dollar bills in a different pocket. Nothing else associated with a drug transaction was found on the defendant.