A drug investigation by the West Roxbury Boston Police Drug Control Unit, relying on information provided by a ‘confidential informant’ about drugs being sold at BK’s Pub at 4272 Washington Street in Boston’s Roslindale section resulted in the arrest of two people. Alexander Perez-Figueroa, of Dorchester, and Elsa M. Parrilla, also of Dorchester, were both arrested and each charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class B Substance.
The confidential informant told police that a woman would sell drugs from BK’s Pub in Roslindale by receiving orders in the bar and receiving money for the drugs. A ‘drug dealer’ would then be contacted, she would meet him on Poplar Street to obtain the drugs, and then allegedly distribute those drugs to the buyers.
The Boston Police Drug Control Unit allege they observed several people approach the woman and hand her money. She was then observed using her cell phone, thereafter leaving the bar in her car and conducting the transaction with occupants within another car. At the time of her arrest, the Boston Police report that she admitted to be in possession of cocaine, for which she reportedly paid $1,000.
That other car was also stopped by the Boston Police, and both the driver and passenger were arrested for violation of the drug control laws. Interestingly, only $407 dollars in total was seized from these two men. They were charged with Distribution of a Class B Substance and School Zone Violations.
Additionally, the ‘buyer’ from the bar was also summonsed to be charged in West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court with the drug crimes of Possession of a Class B Substance with Intent to Distribute and School Zone Violation.
Boston Criminal Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis’ Thoughts:
Having represented hundreds of persons charged with crimes involving unlawful possession and/or distribution of drugs, it is not uncommon to see the police use confidential informants to obtain information for drug investigations. This information might consist of typical practices about street-level drug dealing, or may even provide the basis for the police obtaining search warrants to ones home or business.
Often times, these confidential informants are people who they themselves were arrested for a drug crime or some other criminal offense, and then are asked to offer information against others in exchange for some type of rewards. Confidential informants can be ‘compensated’ in many ways, whether obtaining some favorable disposition or reduced sentence in their own criminal case or even accepting cash payments by the police in exchange for their information.
Ironically, confidential informants, aside from usually having their own criminal history, may also be drug dependent persons buying drugs from the very persons against whom they are providing information to the police…go figure.
Even with police using of confidential informants, it is still possible to fight your criminal drug charges…
If the police relied on a confidential informant to supply the ‘reasonable suspicion’ to stop you or the ‘probable cause’ to arrest you, your criminal defense lawyer should closely scrutinize that information and consider filing a Motion to Suppress to attempt to have the drugs excluded from your case. In these type of cases, the prosecutor has the burden of proving:
- the veracity of the confidential informant, meaning that has previously proven himself reliable; and
- demonstrating the confidential informant’s ‘basis of knowledge’ of this supplied information, i.e., that it was something ‘beyond a casual rumor’.
Both of these two prongs must be satisfied, unless otherwise supplemented by the police officer’s own observations.
The veracity or the reliability of the confidential informant is often proven by the officers attesting that the informant has provided ‘reliable’ information in that past that has led to the arrest and/or conviction of the target criminal suspects. The confidential informant’s basis of knowledge, on the other hand, is usually demonstrated that he provided specific details about how he came across his information. General or ‘obvious’ information easily obtainable by the public is usually not sufficient.
At the end of the day, even if you think you were caught red-handed, there may still be some hope for you to salvage your defense and beat your case. This is why it is so very important to have an experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer represent you in your drug case; one who knows and understands the particulars of the law, your Constitutional protections, and how best to defend your criminal case.
With proven results as a criminal defense lawyer and having handled hundreds of drug cases in Boston and throughout Massachusetts, I can assure you that, most often than not, your drug case will have at least one or two defensible issues you can attack.
Because of the serious penalties and collateral implications involved with drug crimes, I make myself available 24/7. To schedule a Free Consultation and discuss your criminal matter, submit your information online or call me directly at 617-325-9500.