Distribution of Cocaine, Subsequent Offense - Superior Court - Reduced

AB, a 42-year-old mechanic, was arrested and charged after a "sting" operation. A local police force had been surveilling a known "drug house." A confidential informant (CI) from the drug house told one of the detectives that a certain person was supplying the cocaine to the house. The CI described the dealer to the police; CI also said that the dealer would be arriving at a certain time to drop off drugs. The police staked out the home and waited for the dealer to arrive. AB pulled up in his car, but did not get out. The police stormed his car, pulled their guns, and told him to get out and get on the ground. AB complied. In his jacket pocket they found a 15-gram "rock" of crack cocaine.

AB had been previously convicted of selling drugs 23 years before this incident, thus exposing him to prosecution as a subsequent offender, and a mandatory-minimum of 3 1/2 years in state prison. In addition to the 23-year-old conviction, AB's BOP showed that he had a more recent drug distribution conviction. AB insisted that the more recent conviction was actually just as possession charge. (AB was a heavy drug user).

A Motion to Suppress was filed and argued, but denied. Attorney Henry Fasoldt came into the case after the motion to suppress.

Henry and AB began preparing a defense for trial. Meanwhile, Henry tracked down the docket sheet of AB's prior drug convictions. As it happened, AB was right - the more recent drug case had indeed been a conviction for drug possession, not drug distribution. This finding improved AB's bargaining position - he would have a better chance that the prosecutor's office would grant their "breakdown request." Henry gathered letters of support and proof that AB had struggled with addiction for some time (even going to rehab programs). The prosecutor's office agreed to reduce AB's charge to a lesser-included offense, whereby AB could avoid the mandatory-minimum 3 1/2 year prison sentence.

AB plead guilty and was sentenced to one year in jail. He will be eligible for parole in six months.