Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Heroin and Marijuana
A lawful permanent resident was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, heroin and marijuana. These charges followed a motor vehicle stop by police who were investigating street-level drug sales in a high crime area. Police received a tip that the man was trafficking these drugs within the local neighborhood. Officers learned that the man was actively operating in the area. They located his vehicle parked on the side of a street. Undercover officers then approached the man and removed him from the driver’s seat of his vehicle. They searched the interior of the vehicle and discovered concealed in the area of the center console and under an ash tray multiple bags of cocaine, heroin and marijuana. These illicit substances were pre-packaged for street level sale. Based on this discovery, police arrested and charged the man for controlled substances offenses. They then obtained a warrant for the man’s apartment. Upon searching the apartment, police discovered drug trafficking paraphernalia and $10,000.00 in cash. These items were also seized as evidence.
The man retained Attorney John L. Calcagni III to represent him in this matter. However, Attorney Calcagni was the second lawyer hired to work on this case. The first attorney was unable to successfully negotiate a satisfactory resolution of this matter. The unsatisfactory resolution called for the man’s guilty plea to the charged narcotics offenses and sentence of actual jail time. Because the man was not yet a U.S. citizen, this resolution posed adverse immigration consequences such as his deportation and denial of naturalized citizenship. Because the man was unhappy with this proposed resolution, he discharged his first attorney and retained Attorney Calcagni. When he entered the case, he was able to significantly improve matters for his client. Attorney Calcagni hired a former narcotics investigator to help recreate the man’s arrest to determine if the police lawfully seized and searched his car. The investigator opined that the narcotics officers’ conduct fell below acceptable standards under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Attorney Calcagni then requested an evidence viewing, which revealed to the prosecutor the true nature of the seized drugs. He then provided the prosecutor with a mitigation packet of the man’s family, to include a disabled child in the Dominican Republic, his status as a lawful permanent resident with the hope of achieving naturalized U.S. Citizenship, continuous employment after his arrest, and lack of criminal history. Based on these collective efforts, Attorney Calcagni successfully persuaded the State to amend the current drug charges to the immigration friendly offense of maintaining a common nuisance. He further negotiated that in exchange for the man’s admission of guilty to the amended charge, the man would receive a sentence of probation. The man was very pleased with this offer and accepted it. This creative disposition was specifically tailored to allow the man to remain out of jail and to retain the chance of becoming a U.S. Citizen.