Posts tagged "1105715"

Commonwealth v. Freeman (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-057-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-172                                        Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  RONALD FREEMAN. No. 14-P-172. Middlesex.     December 4, 2014. – June 3, 2015.   Present:  Kafker, Grainger, & Agnes, JJ. Controlled Substances.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress. Constitutional Law, Search and seizure.  Probable Cause. Search and Seizure, Probable cause, Threshold police inquiry, Reasonable suspicion.  Threshold Police Inquiry.     Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on January 17, 2012.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Garry V. Inge, J.   An application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal was allowed by Francis X. Spina, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeal was reported by him to the Appeals Court.   Eric A. Haskell, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Rebecca Kiley, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the defendant.      AGNES, J.  This is an interlocutory appeal arising out of indictments charging the defendant, Ronald Freeman, with unlawful possession of heroin with the intent to distribute in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32(a), second or subsequent offense, G. L. c. 94C, § 32(b); and unlawful possession of heroin in a school zone in violation of G. L. c. 94C, § 32J.  The sole question presented for our consideration is whether the observation of an exchange between two men in the street made by an experienced narcotics investigator provided him with probable cause to believe a drug transaction had occurred.  Based on the investigator’s observation of two men on a street corner counting money, one of whom was known to be a drug user, the nature of the exchange that took place moments later between one of those two men and the defendant, and the location in which the events took place, we conclude the detective had probable cause to make an arrest.  We therefore reverse the order allowing the defendant’s motion to suppress. Background.  On July 26, 2011, at approximately 6:30 P.M., Detective Brian Hussey, an experienced narcotics investigator, was conducting surveillance with his partner, Detective Kevin Donofrio, in an area of Cambridge bordering Cambridgeport and Central Square.  Within the past two months, there had been more than a dozen reports of increased drug activity in that area.  The location is a densely populated residential area with numerous small businesses and parks. Detective Hussey initially observed two men, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 4, 2015 at 4:43 am

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