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January 6, 2014

Drug Trafficking Conviction Reversed Based Upon Invalid Warrantless Search of Vehicle

In many cases, the evidence obtained against a criminal defendant can and should be suppressed in court, based upon the police's violation of the defendant's constitutional rights in obtaining that evidence. Generally, if the police did not follow constitutional procedure, then a jury may not know about the evidence obtained as a result of the constitutional violation. A recent Massachusetts Appeals Court case illustrates this concept.

In Commonwealth v. Diaz, the defendant was convicted of trafficking cocaine in an amount of 28 grams or more, based upon two packages of cocaine that the police seized from the defendant's vehicle during a warrantless search of the vehicle. Several months prior to his arrest, the police had obtained information from a confidential informant that the defendant sold drugs, including at a building where a business named Family Oil was located, and that he packaged drugs there.

The police observed the defendant's vehicle parked behind the Family Oil building, located on private property, and entered the property. They saw the defendant exit the building and quickly place his jacket into his car and try to go back into the building. The police immediately seized and restrained the defendant. They then entered the building, searched the occupants, and found cocaine on two of them. Returning outside, the police searched the defendant's vehicle, without a warrant to do so, and found two bags of cocaine.

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February 6, 2011

Massachusetts Drug Trafficking Likely Led to Maine Drug Bust

Major drug busts are not limited to any demographic or economic region. Inner-city to rural, drug possession and use is a notable problem for the affected communities. In Dedham Maine, the Boston Glob reported, drug agents stated that they have seized more than 1 and half pounds of cocaine and arrested four people in connection with illegal drug possession and drug smuggling following a four month long investigation.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said that the four arrested were: Michael Vilasuso, 29, of Dedham; Maureen Leeman, 49, of Mount Desert; Thaddeus Jozefowicz, 29, of Bangor; and Stephanie Martin, 45, of Clifton. These four Maine residents have been charged with trafficking in cocaine.

In addition to the drugs, $10,000 in cash was found at Michael Vilasuso's home in Dedham Maine, where he was arrested. The other three members of the illegal drug possession and drug smuggling ring were arrested later after being stopped in their vehicles. The Maine police believe that the cocaine was smuggled into Maine from somewhere in Massachusetts.

September 22, 2010

Paris Hilton Denied Entry to Japan Airport Just a Day After Pleading Guilty to Drug Charges in Las Vegas Case

On Monday, September 20th, Paris Hilton plead guilty to two misdemeanor cocaine possession charges. In exchange for her plea, she received probation and a one-year suspended sentence. The suspended sentence should come as a wake-up call to the hotel heiress after a host or arrests, stint in jail for an OUI conviction, and other drug charges. In fact, during the plea hearing, the judge warned Hilton that if she does not obey her probation conditions, she will likely land behind bars. Hilton admitted to knowingly possessing the cocaine, and for the sentence the judge dropped the felony possession charges down to misdemeanors as part of the plea agreement. As part of her probation, she must pay over $2,000 in fines, serve 200 hours of community service and complete a mandatory outpatient substance abuse program.

The story of Ms. Hilton gets even more newsworthy when yesterday, on Tuesday September 21st, only a day after her plea deal, Hilton was detained at a Japan airport. At Narita Airport, Japanese immigration officials delayed Hilton's entrance to the country. Under Japanese law, immigration authorities are allowed to deny entry to the country to those who have recently been convicted of drug-related offenses. The policy is both a part of Japan's strict anti-drug laws, and to prevent traveler's possessing drugs from entering the country.

This morning, Japanese officials officially denied Hilton entry to the country, and she was forced to board a plane for a different country. She was scheduled to appear at a news conference in Tokyo to promote her fashion and fragrance line, but this conference is now canceled. This would have been the first appearance on her Asian tour to promote her new stores and lines in Asia. However, both Japan and Malaysia have very strict anti-drug laws which may be an issue for the recently probated heiress. (Hilton is also scheduled to appear in Malaysia and open stores carrying her line in the next few days).

Paris Hilton Pleads Guilty to two Misdemeanor Charges in Cocaine Bust, Gets One Year Probation

Paris Hilton Detained at Airport in Japan

September 15, 2010

Paris Hilton Arrested on Felony Drug Possession Charges in Las Vegas

On August 28, Paris Hilton, the 29-year old Hotel Heiress, was arrested in the swanky Wynn Las Vegas Resort on felony drug possession charges. While driving on down Las Vegas Boulevard, Hilton was pulled over when Las Vegas Metro police believed marijuana smoke was wafting from a black Cadillac Escalade, driven by her boyfriend, Las Vegas nightclub mogul Cy Watts. After being pulled over and being asked to exit the vehicle, Hilton was taken into the hotel "to keep her safe" from the crowds forming outside. According to Metro Police, once inside the hotel, Hilton took a tube of lip balm from her purse. Then a plastic bundle containing a white, powder substance fell from her purse and onto the floor of the Wynn Resort.

This arrest has garnered lots of media coverage, not only due to Hilton's celebrity status, but her inconsistent statements in her defense. Originally, Hilton claimed the purse was not hers, and that she was only borrowing it from a friend. Then, she stated she didn't know cocaine was in there, and that she thought it was gum. So basically, the purse isn't hers, but if it is hers, she didn't know cocaine was inside. Sounds like Hilton is trying to have her coke, "cake," and eat it too.

Hilton and Watts were both arrested and taken into custody. After tests conducted by the Metro police, the substance tested positive as cocaine, but the exact amount of cocaine was not disclosed. After being booked, Hilton was released on her own recognizance. If Hilton is convicted of this drug possession felon, she would likely get probation. However, any violation of her probation could result in one to four years in jail. And with her track record of numerous probation violations, and recent stints in a Los Angeles county jail for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges, the likelihood that Hilton will do hard time for this charge is increased.

These felony drug charges follow a recent history or drug used by the hotel heirness. Just this summer, Hilton was arrested in South Africa after smoking marijuana following the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup match. The case was dropped at a midnight court hearing.

As for Hilton's boyfriend, Watts, he was held pending an upcoming court appearance on a DUI charge. Watts is the managing partner, along with his twin brother, of Tryst Nightclub, the Wynn Las Vegas swanky club.

Paris Hilton Arrested for Cocaine Possession

Paris Hilton Cocaine Defense has "Big Problems"

June 28, 2010

Cambridge Man is Convicted of Cocaine Trafficking

Jeffery Appolon, 24, has been charged with drug trafficking and a drug violation close to a school or park after he was discovered on Monday with 50 grams of cocaine near Kings Open Elementary School. The police learned of Appolon through reports that there would be an individual carrying a substantial amount of cocaine into the area. Later when Appolon did arrive into the scene, he was immediately searched and then arrested.

Boston Globe, June 28th 2010 Cambridge Man is Convicted of Cocaine Trafficking

Please contact the established criminal defense lawyers at Parker Scheer, if you or someone you know needs representation in a drug-related case.

June 16, 2010

Bruno Mars Charged in Connection Cocaine Possession at Hard Rock Cafe

Peter Hernandez, better known as hip-hop star Bruno Mars, will be arraigned on November 18th in Las Vegas Justice Court. This past Friday, criminal drug possession charges were filed against Hernandez for an incident involving cocaine in the bathroom of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. According to the Clark County District Attorney's Office, Hernandez could face anywhere from one to four years in the Nevada Department of Corrections, including a fine of up to $5,000.

The incident occurred on September 19, 2010. Hernandez was arrested and released the same day. According to the police report, a bathroom attendant saw Hernandez taking a while in the stall, and possibly using drugs. Hotel security then responded, and asked Hernandez to hand over whatever drugs he had on his person. Hernandez gave security 2.6 grams of a "white powdery substance" believed to police to be cocaine.

This untimely drug charges comes at the same time that his song "Just the Way You Are" is the Number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Las Vegas Sun, October 1, 2010: Charges Filed Against Bruno Mars

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