Articles Tagged with “drug crimes”

Published on:

It was recently reported on August 2, 2012, that Governor Deval Patrick signed new Massachusetts criminal law legislation that imposes harsh penalties for repeat violent criminal law offenders convicted in the Commonwealth. In doing so, Massachusetts now reportedly joins twenty-six additional states that have imposed strong habitual criminal offender laws. The new law takes away judicial discretion with respect to sentencing of repeat violent criminal offenders who have suffered convictions three times for certain enumerated violent crimes and makes these offenders ineligible for parole. In other words, repeat violent offenders now have to serve the full or maximum sentence with absolutely no chance for parole, probation, work release, furlough or reduction of sentence for good conduct while incarcerated.

The two previous convictions of a criminal defendant to be subject to the penalties imposed under the Massachusetts three-strikes law must have arisen out of distinct and separate incidents that must have occurred at different times. Also, these previous convictions must have carried sentences of at least three years each for the law to be applicable.

This law was sought by the father of Melissa Gosule, who was murdered by a convicted criminal who had been released early only after serving a two-year portion of a prison sentence and reportedly involved a history of twenty-seven prior felonies on his criminal record. Authorities argue that a tough three-strikes law may have avoided this and other similar, tragic losses of life.

In order to get that law passed there were certain concessions incorporated that actually decrease the mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes for trafficking, distribution, manufacturing or possession with intent to distribute drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, morphine or opium. In some cases involving trafficking in cocaine or phenmetrazine, mandatory minimum sentences have been reduced by three years. Also, the weight requirements of certain narcotics to support a conviction for trafficking have actually increased making it more difficult for prosecutors to convict for trafficking cases.
Continue reading

Published on:

On Monday July 9, 2012 a combined effort by Boston police officers and FBI agents dismantled an alleged illegal drug ring, arresting fourteen people spanning twelve locations across Boston, Milton, and Canton. The Boston Globe reports that the enterprise was brought to an end as a result of the largest drug investigation to hit Boston in at least a decade. The investigation, nicknamed Operation Rodeo, lasted thirteen months and involved agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; Department of Homeland Security; Internal Revenue Service; and the Boston Police Department. The federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, formed to combat drug activity in and around Boston, purportedly collected thousands of hours of physical surveillance, forensic accounting, translation services, GPS tracking, confidential sources, and a supposed “tremendous” amount of electronic surveillance. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said that eleven people have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine, as a result of those warrants and seizures. With three more people having been charged with related gun and drug offenses and additional complaints to follow, the police believe that cocaine trafficking business has taken a brutal blow.

The law enforcement authorities claim that the alleged trafficking operation was headed by Juan “White Boy” Guzman, formerly of Hyde Park, who is currently serving a jail sentence for gun and drug convictions. Guzman and his associates have allegedly been trafficking shipments of as much as 40 kilograms of cocaine at a time from Mexico to Boston. Authorities handling Operation Rodeo have seized assets including $500,000, four vehicles, nine bank accounts, and a safety­deposit box allegedly used by the drug ring. Some of those involved are said to also be under investigation for crimes of violence, murder, assault, and in particular, a 2010 triple-homicide at a Centre Street pizzeria in Jamaica Plain. Aside from Guzman, Numitor Vallejo, 31; ­; Thomas ­Lugo, Jr., 25; Caesar Aguasvivas, 32; and Jonathan Tejeda, 30. were arrested in relation to the cocaine trafficking, and Manuel Martinez, 24, faces gun and assault charges stemming from his involvement in the organization. Not guilty pleas have been entered for all individuals charged and all are presumed innocent of any crime alleged.

The crime of conspiracy to traffic cocaine is a felony in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is punishable by up to 15 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000. In recent decades, the trafficking of drugs has become a worldwide phenomenon, as drugs remain a major commodity in the global black market. Drug trafficking involves the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of controlled substances and is prosecuted vigorously by State and Federal authorities, as the US attempts to make headway on its ‘War On Drugs’ campaign. Law enforcement officials remain concerned because they believe that the business of drug trafficking is usually surrounded with other violent crimes, including murder, human trafficking, slavery, racketeering, and extortion. Cocaine is the most lucrative of these illegal drugs. The United Nations estimates that sales of the drug net $88 billion a year in the retail market alone. Unfortunately, cocaine trafficking and abuse continue to threaten the health and safety of American citizens.
Continue reading