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Home  >  Cape Cod Criminal Defense Lawyer  >  Nantucket to Hyannis Plane Flight Leads to Arrests and Seizure of Suspected Drugs

Nantucket to Hyannis Plane Flight Leads to Arrests and Seizure of Suspected Drugs

A Hyannis man and a Falmouth Man were arrested by members of the Barnstable Street Crime Unit of the Barnstable Police after the pair landed at Hyannis airport off a flight from Nantucket.  The Nantucket police had contacted the Barnstable Police indicating they were suspicious the two males were engaged in illegal drug activity.  The Barnstable police seized the two as they entered the terminal and subsequently located, with the use of a Mashpee K9 unit, cash, two bags of marijuana, 12 suboxone pills (a Class B substance).  As a Cape Cod defense attorney who has defended a substantial number of clients on drug related offenses, a number of issues stand out regarding this matter.  One issue is to be determined is what the basis for the Nantucket police to have deemed the pair suspicious of being engaged in drug activity. Did the Barnstable police seize the two solely ased on the info provided by the Nantucket police and was that info sufficient to provide reasonable suspicion based on specific articulable facts that the individuals had committed a crime, were committing a crime or were about to commit a crime.  Did the Nantucket police observe firsthand activity consistent with criminal transactions or were the police being provided information from a confidential informant or was it a combination of the two.  If the police were observing activity firsthand, some important factors to know are the training and experience of the officers (specific to narcotics investigations), if they saw hand to hand transactions, if the parties they are observing are known to them as drug involved and if they see actions that are consistent with drug deals or transactions.  If the police are relying on a confidential informant, it is important to know if the CI has proven to be reliable and what the CI’s basis of knowledge is for the information he is providing.  If the seizure of the individuals was not legal under constitutional analysis, and the police would not have inevitably located the contraband by some other lawful means, then the items would be suppressed and could not be used against them.  Another issue is whether or not a prosecution could be sustained for charges of possession with the intent to distribute a small amount of marijuana and 12 suboxone pills.  To support these charges, the prosecution would argue the amount of cash found was significant, the fact one of the individuals was traveling with a false name was shows an effort to conceal and evade and the quantity of pills are all indicative of distribution. On the other hand, the defense can argue the circumstances more accurately support a finding the drugs were for personal use and not for distribution.  The quantity of pills and marijuana are certainly consistent with personal use, the drugs do not appear to be packaged for distribution and the cash does not appear to be in denominations that are indicative of being the proceeds of drug sales (for example, if they were all in $20 bills).  A large amount of cash is certainly not unusual considering the two were just traveling back from Nantucket.  Finally, the individual traveling with the false name had outstanding arrest warrants which would give him a reason, other then the purported drug activity, to conceal his identity.  This case is not unlike most drug cases as it presents a number of complex issues that can ultimately make or break a case.  With the penalties for drug offenses so severe, an individual facing prosecution for drug offenses would be wise to have a skilled and experienced Cape Cod criminal defense lawyer on his side. -Attorney James Powderly