Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Three Things You Should Know About Fentanyl Trafficking Charges

Law enforcement in Boston recently arrested two individuals in Dorchester and Hyde Park and recovered approximately 2,500 grams of fentanyl as well as over $12,500. The two individuals are now facing multiple charges including trafficking Class A drugs and distribution of Class A drugs.

Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the rate of fentanyl use in the state of Massachusetts. This also unfortunately means that the death rate from drug use in Massachusetts is among the highest in the country and more than twice the national average. In an effort to decrease these rates, Massachusetts enforces a number of laws related to fentanyl use. One of the criminal offenses with which people found with fentanyl are commonly charged is trafficking.

In the state of Massachusetts, drug trafficking charges are governed by General Law Chapter 94C Controlled Substances, which states that the act of trafficking is knowingly or intentionally distributing, dispensing, or possessing an illegal substance with the intent to distribute, dispense, or manufacture more than 18 grams of the substance into the state.

Trafficking charges in Massachusetts are particularly serious, but there are many things about these offenses that people do not know.

There are Four Elements to a Drug Trafficking Offense in Massachusetts

To convict a person in Massachusetts of fentanyl trafficking, the prosecution must establish that a person beyond a reasonable doubt did the following:

  • A person knowingly or intentionally

  • Either actually or constructively possessed fentanyl

  • The fentanyl was more than 10 grams

  • A person possessed the fentanyl with the intent to distribute it to someone else

There are a Number of Defenses to Trafficking Charges

An experienced attorney can review the facts of your case to determine some of the best ways to respond to a drug trafficking charge. Some of the most common defense strategies include:

  • Filing a motion to suppress, which can suppress evidence vital to a conviction based on the fact that a search of a person, vehicle, or home was unlawful, an informant was not reliable, or a traffic stop was based on an unlawful premise

  • The plea negotiation process can sometimes be used to reduce a person’s charge to a much lower level of drugs that were involved. As a result, a person can end up facing much less serious penalties in relation to a trafficking charge.

Elevated Penalties for Massachusetts Drug Trafficking

A person who is charged with fentanyl trafficking 10 or more grams can end up facing three and a half years to 20 years in prison. The penalties that a person in Massachusetts faces in relation to trafficking for heroin or morphine increase based on the amount of drugs involved.

For example, a person found trafficking 18 to 35 grams of heroin or morphine can end up facing between three and a half to 30 years in prison as well as maximum of $50,000 in fines.

Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Edward Molari has substantial experience representing people in Massachusetts who have been charged with a variety of drug offenses.

If you have been charged with any type of fentanyl-related offense, do not hesitate to contact attorney Edward Molari today.