Bail Petition Granted for Man Held for Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana

Drug & Narcotics Offenses

Rhode Island State Police conducted a speeding stop of a New York man on 95 North. Though the man’s license and vehicle registration were all valid, police believed the man was behaving nervously and did not provide a valid explanation as to the contents of some trash bags in the cargo area of the man’s sports utility vehicle. Accordingly, police summoned a K9 drug detection dog to search the vehicle. The dog alerted police to the trash bags, which ultimately contained approximately 70 pounds of marijuana. This discovery led to the man’s arrest and charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The man retained Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney, John L. Calcagni III, to defend him in this matter. Despite Attorney Calcagni’s best efforts in Rhode Island District Court, the man was ordered held without bail after a full hearing. The District Court Judge failed to accept Attorney Calcagni’s legal argument that the discovery of marijuana inside the man’s vehicle was the product of an illegal search and seizure. She also failed to accept Attorney Calcagni’s secondary argument that bail was still warranted due to the man’s lack of criminal history, family ties, home ownership, employment, citizenship, and cooperation with police. In response, Attorney Calcagni filed a bail petition in Rhode Island Superior Court. The petition sought to appeal the District Court’s adverse ruling. After the hearing, Attorney Calcagni successfully persuaded the Superior Court to overrule the District Court by setting bail.