Possession with Intent to Distribute Class D Substance, Drug Violation Near School/Park -- District Court -- Dismissed

A Cambridge police officer stopped EB, a 40-year-old man, and EB's friend in the Cambridge Common, because they were was smoking weed. The officer was particularly upset because there were children playing near-by. Though smoking marijuana in Massachusetts is not a criminal offense, distributing marijuana is criminal. The officer called for back-up; 4 additional officers arrived. The lead officer asked if he could search EB's backpack. EB said "no, you may not." Next, the officer said that he smelled "fresh, unburnt marijuana." The officer used the odor of marijuana as a pretext to search EB's backpack. The search yielded 20 individually-wrapped baggies of marijuana. EB was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Class D substance, as well as a School Zone Drug Violation. The latter charge carries a mandatory jail sentence of 2 years in jail. Boston Drug attorney Henry Fasoldt filed a Motion to Suppress, arguing that the search of EB's backpack was unconstitutional. On the morning of the hearing, before the argument, the prosecutors decided to file a "nolle prosequi," which effectively dismissed the case.