Since early 2013, Massachusetts law enforcement officers have busted a number of local residents, as well as others caught while traveling through the state. Those accused of violating the state’s controlled substances laws fit a wide variety of descriptions.
But it is clear that despite marijuana decriminalization, the war on drugs is still alive and well in Massachusetts.
Overly Casual College Students May Have Invited Cops Inside
Back during February, a number of Salem State University (SSU) students were allegedly busy handling marijuana in a Salem residence when a police officer came to the door. He was there to ask them to move their cars parked out front so that a street plow could remove snow.
Just prior to approaching this particular residence, the police had driven down the street with their lights and sirens on, asking people to move their cars. Since a number of vehicles remained in front of this one residence, an officer went to the door, prepared to simply ask if the cars could be moved.
According to the police, those inside responded to the knock on the door by simply saying, “It’s unlocked, come on in.”
When the policeman entered, he saw marijuana, baggies, cash and digital scales. After securing a search warrant and confiscating those items, all six of the people inside were arrested. It was later reported that an SSU representative confirmed that all those arrested were students.
Police Sergeant Harry Rocheville believes the students just thought he was “another customer” when they told him he could enter the residence.
A “Special Delivery” in Canton Leads to An Arrest
Also in February, the police received a tip about a large delivery scheduled for a place on Industrial Drive. When plainclothes officers were sent to the area, they saw a man (allegedly Thomas Jin Kim, 30) try to “take possession of nearly 300 pounds of marijuana.”
Canton Police Chief Kenneth Berkowitz, who has been employed by the force for 20 years said, “I can’t ever remember anything as big as this.”
The bail of the accused, Mr. Kim, was set at $1 million.
One New Yorker Was Just Passing Through the State
When pulled over in March during a traffic stop in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, one New Yorker had allegedly been speeding. Cops soon learned that Carlos Vargas, 35, was driving while using a suspended New York license. When officers searched his car, they reported finding: 1 pound of marijuana, 79 Percocet tablets, 250 grams of heroin and 200 grams of cocaine. According to one news source, Vargas was charged with “trafficking in cocaine and heroin, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.”
The police estimated the drugs’ value at about $41,000.
Worcester Bust Nets Five Accused
Also in March, police officers in Worcester followed a driver in a Toyota Avalon – thought to be used in drug deals – until it met up with a woman driving a Nissan Altima. The woman then left her car and allegedly entered the Avalon. She then returned to her own vehicle.
Believing they had just witnessed a drug deal, the police decided to maintain surveillance on both cars. When the Altima with a man and woman inside was pulled over, the police said they “saw hypodermic needles in the vehicle in ‘plain view.’” A bag of heroin was also found on one of the car occupants. Both the man and woman in the Altima were arrested.
After the events noted above, the police then pulled over the Toyota Avalon driver seen earlier. In it, law enforcement officers found six half-gram bags of heroin, a cell phone and $635 in cash. A woman and two men were then arrested.
After police searched the residences of the accused, additional drugs were found: 19 knotted bags of cocaine, 13 knotted bags of heroin, 6 Percocet pills and other drug sale paraphernalia. This bust resulted in a total of five arrests.
Should you ever be accused of any drug (or other) crime, remember that an attorney with the Law Offices of Russell Matson is always available to discuss your case.
By Elizabeth Smith