Distribution of Class C Substance (Subsequent Offense), School Zone Drug Offense, Conspiracy - Probation, No Jail - Superior Court

MF, a 52-year-old lifetime drug abuser, was stopped after police witnessed him engage in a "hand-to-hand" drug transaction with two other "known drug users."

Undercover detectives, walking the street as pedestrians, followed three white males. The detectives' attention was initially drawn to the men based on their "unusual" behavior which, in the police's opinion, was consistent with drug-dealing. The detectives approached the three men, showed their badges, and yelled "Stop. Police!" One of the men put his hand to his mouth in order to swallow the pills in his hand. The second male threw his pills to the storm drain. Unfortunately, not all the pills made it down the drain. The police separated all three men and questioned them individually. For 10 minutes MF said nothing; then, while being handcuffed he said, "they haven't even given me money, how can I be charged with distribution?"

MF's criminal record was long; he had served time in federal prison, as well as several short sentence in county jail.

Attorney Henry Fasoldt agreed to represent MF.

The School-Zone drug charge was particularly troublesome as it carries a mandatory 2-year jail sentence which must be served after the underlying drug offense. Henry began by investigating the school that was within 300 feet. The investigation revealed that the school was actually an uncertified daycare. Under the law, in order for a daycare to qualify as a school it must be certified. Henry filed a motion to dismiss the school zone charge. The prosecutors agreed. The school zone charge was dismissed.

MF and Henry met many times. Though encouraged by the chances of success at a Motion to Suppress, MF really just wanted to get no jail time. He told Henry to try to get the best deal possible.

MF, for his part, had been undergoing treatment for a chronic heroin addition. He first went through inpatient treatment. Next, he began seeing a therapist every week. During the course of the case MF showed a true desire to get clean. Henry used this to try to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the subsequent-offender portion of the indictment. By getting rid of that part of the charge, MF would no longer be exposed to mandatory time.

Henry drafted a breakdown letter on MF's behalf. In addition to that, Henry provided the prosecutors with letters from MF's doctor and therapist. After some negotiation, the prosecutors agreed to dismiss the subsequent offense portion as well as the conspiracy charge.

MF agreed to plead guilty to Distribution of a Class C substance. He was sentence to 2 years of probation.