Drug Forfeiture Case Decided by United States Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in Honeycutt v. United States ruled that a man who worked at his brother’s hardware store and sold an iodine-based product that could be used to make methamphetamine was not required to forfeit profits that he never earned, despite his conspiracy conviction for his role in the sales. The Honeycutt case has the potential to shed significant light on the extent of liability of conspirators while also limiting the government’s power to seize assets from entities who are involved in a criminal enterprise.

The Facts of the Case

The Honeycutt case concerns two Tennessee brothers who were convicted on drug conspiracy charges. In the involved action, the government sought nearly $270,000 from sale of the iodine based product. Over the course of three years, the store in question reported sales of over 20,000 bottles of “Polar Pure” water purifiers at over a $270,000 profit. Law enforcement instructed the store owners that… Continue Reading this Post

GPS Effective Method of Counter-surveillance for Narcotics Traffickers

The Use of Global Positioning Technology to Combat Drug Trafficking

An increasing number of organized crime groups in Latin America are using basic technology like the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to avoid United States law enforcement agencies while transporting drugs. El Salvador’s División Antinarcóticos, the country’s anti-drug program, reports that organized crime groups are increasingly using GPS technology to transport illegal shipments.

This use of basic technology comes after the recent arrest of the infamous crime boss, Prado Alava, who alleged that his operation was using technology more advanced than any other group.

The United States has likely increased focus on this activity because the amount of cocaine traffic has increased significantly in the course of the last year. The United States’ International Narcotics Control Strategy Reports reveal that the amount of drugs exported from South America has risen to unprecedented levels. The amount of coca cultivation in Colombia has increased by 18 percent within the last year to an estimated 465,000 acres… Continue Reading this Post

The Quest to Create a Test for Marijuana Impairment

Marijuana is playing a larger role in the daily lives of many Americans. Massachusetts is one of eight states, as well as the District Columbia, where recreational use of marijuana is now considered legal. Additionally, twenty states have legalized the use of medical marijuana. There remain questions about how the use of marijuana should be regulated. While motor vehicle operators are prohibited from driving a vehicle while impaired by marijuana, there is no accurate test for determining whether an individual has consumed marijuana. Among this uncertainty about the impairment of motor vehicle drivers in Massachusetts who might have taken marijuana, there is currently a case pending from a Massachusetts state court that will likely provide some illumination about what approach Massachusetts will take to these challenges created by detecting marijuana impairment.

The Danger Presented by Marijuana Use

Although many (but not all) studies have found that mariju… Continue Reading this Post

Attorney Fasoldt Helps Individual Suppress Evidence Obtained During Warrantless Search

A recent decision was made in a case that arose when a report of a “skunky” and “minty” smell like drugs emanating from an individual’s apartment was made by one of the individual’s neighbors. While the neighbor claimed to have slept elsewhere to avoid the smell emanating from the apartment and experienced a headache, the neighbor had noticed the defendant leave the apartment in fine health. The neighbor also claimed that the fumes in question were adversely affecting her dog, that the windows of the neighbor’s apartments were “sealed”, and that a bright line shone in one of the defendant’s apartment’s rooms.

Law enforcement proceeded to investigate the case and at the beginning of March was decided to have unlawfully performed a search of the individual’s apartment without first obtaining a search warrant.

Lack of Evidence and Support by Massachusetts Law Enforcement

Although the smell in question was unpleasant, there is not any evidence present suggesting that the smell was dangerous in nature and presented a risk for the building’s occupants.

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