A Florida deputy sheriff recently made national news for 80 arrests. However, rather than being celebrated for good work, it was because it was determined that many of the roadside drug tests employed by the deputy were inaccurate, which led to false arrest. It is unclear at this time whether the deputy's fault was ineptitude or faked results, but the fact is that many innocent victims ended up in jail for weeks and months because of false drug charges.
Just a few short years ago, news of a wrongfully convicted person being exonerated of his or her crime was a major event. However, such exonerations are now quite common in the U.S., averaging roughly three a week.
From a legal standpoint, it can be difficult to understand the ramifications and consequences of a drug crime. This is largely due to how many different crimes there are, the lines between each of which are very thin. For example, being in possession of a drug is not the same as being in possession of a drug and attempting or intending to sell it. Being in possession of drug paraphernalia is not the same as being in possession of the drug for which the paraphernalia is allegedly used.
A one-month investigation by multiple Massachusetts law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrests of two men on drug possession and distribution charges in Easton. According to the Easton Police Department, the investigation focused on a 27-year-old man from North Easton and another man, 34, of Plymouth.
Massachusetts police raided a Malden home at 21 Ripley St. after monitoring activity at the location. They reported finding drug paraphernalia, a .22-caliber gun, ammunition and substances alleged to be cocaine and heroin. Taken into custody as part of the raid was a 24-year-old man who police had previously considered connected to a local murder.
Three Massachusetts residents were handed criminal charges after a traffic stop on Jan. 31, according to a report from the Massachusetts State Police. The incident occurred while the three individuals were traveling southbound along Route 395 in Oxford. A Sturbridge barracks trooper stopped the vehicle at about 9:15 p.m. after noticing that one of its taillights had gone out.
Two Massachusetts men were facing charges after being taken into police custody following a raid on Oct. 16. The men, 29 years old and 22 years old, were from Stoughton. The raid occurred on Pratts Court near Route 27.
A Massachusetts woman was taken into police custody on Sept. 9 after she was accused of attempting to sell drugs to underage individuals. The report stated that the 49-year-old woman was ultimately charged with possession and intent to distribute drugs to a minor and drug violation while being near a school or a park.
Several persons were recently arrested in Holyoke under accusations of various drug crimes. Operation Tidal Wave consisted of the joint efforts of federal officials and Massachusetts state and local police departments. In total, 21 people were arrested on drug charges.
Since our nation as a whole is changing its perspective about the use of marijuana, both for medical and recreational purposes, it is only natural that our state begins to make new judicial decisions concerning laws about the drug. A decision regarding marijuana possession inside a person's vehicle has recently been ruled in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. This new decision has made it illegal for an officer of the law to continue searching a citizen's vehicle and ultimately make a drug arrest based on the smell of unburnt marijuana in the car if a legal amount of the drug has already been found.