Rhode Island and Massachusetts Drug Crimes Lawyer

Why Hire RI Drug Crimes Lawyer John Calcagni

  • Former federal prosecutor
  • Proven track record for success
  • Licensed in multiple state and federal jurisdictions
  • Unmatched trial record for winning verdicts
  • Awarding winning criminal defense attorney
  • Fully staffed criminal defense firm
  • Accredited lawyer of distinction
  • America’s top 100 attorneys

Experience Defending The Following Drug Charges


What are Drug Offenses?

Drug and Narcotics Offenses are prosecuted at state and federal courts across the country.  The war on drugs is never-ending.   Accordingly, the government continues to step up its investigation and prosecution of drug offenders.

Tools of these investigations include visual surveillance, undercover officers posing as drug dealers and/or customers, confidential informants, motor vehicle stops and searches, wiretapped phones communications, cellphone call and text message history, cellular site data, search warrants, internet surveillance, pole cameras, drug detection dogs, GPS physical tracking and location and more. Because of the increasingly sophisticated investigation methods used to fight drug trafficking, criminal drug prosecutions are at staggeringly high numbers.

Successfully defending against drug prosecutions is more complex than even and requires very experienced legal counsel

Individuals involved in drug dealing are targeted and prosecuted by the government at all levels. This begins with international criminal organizations responsible for bringing drugs or narcotics into the United States, large national level suppliers or traffickers operating within our borders, regional level suppliers, state and city-wide dealers, mid-level dealers, street level dealers, and even end users.

Law enforcement often takes a top-down approach to drug interdiction by coordinating their investigations among local, state and federal authorities to target and apprehend individuals at top levels of drug trafficking networks and organizations.

Alternatively, the bottom-up approach is also widely used.  This approach targets drug users and low-level dealers who, after being arrested, may be turned into informants who lead police to their higher-level dealers  further up the drug supply chain.

Drug Charges and Drug Sentences

Criminal charges and related sentences for drug offenses are dependent upon the type of drug(s) and quantity involved.  For instance, possessing small quantities of less serious drugs such as marijuana are misdemeanor offenses.   In some jurisdictions, possessing up to one ounce or less of marijuana is only considered a civil or non-criminal violation.   Alternatively, drugs offenses involving cocaine, heroin and/or fentanyl, regardless of quantity, and larger quantities of marijuana or illegal prescription medications are felonies.  Felony drug offenses are often tied to mandatory minimum jail sentences for convicted offenders.

Drug Charges Consequences

Being charged with a Drug or Narcotics Offense may have serious collateral consequences.

These may include:

  • denial of public housing
  • financial aid to attend school
  • the ability to serve in the military or armed forces
  • various employment opportunities
  • in some states, a license to operate a motor vehicle

What Happens with the Children of Drug Offenders?

If an offender has children, a Drug or Narcotics Offense charge may also implicate state agencies such as the Department of Child Services (DCS) or Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).

These agencies may initiate independent investigations to consider the welfare of a child or children who may have been exposed to a parent who is either abusing or dealing illegal drugs.

This could lead to the removal of a child or children from the household or limiting or restricting parental rights.

A Drug or Narcotics Offense of any type is a serious matter. Therefore, if you have been charged with a Drug or Narcotics Offense, it is important to seek legal representation immediately in order to protect your rights and minimize the impact that a charge of his nature may have on your life.

“Illegal Search and Seizure”

Many drug and narcotic offenses can stem from illegal searches and seizures. A person has a Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment of the United States as well as under each specific States Constitution.

Rhode Island Constitution

Rhode Island Constitution. Article I: Declaration of Certain Constitutional Rights and Principals. Section 6. Search and seizure- The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers and possessions, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but on complaint in writing, upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and describing as nearly as may be, the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Article XIV. Every subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and seizures, of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. All warrants, therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure: and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities prescribed by the laws.

Recent Successful Drug Crime Case Results

Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Possession of Firearms in Connection with a Drug Trafficking Offense: Dismissed

Police performing surveillance observed a suspected drug transaction in a commercial parking lot between two motorists.  As the motorists departed separately from the area, police stopped one of them.  The man admitted to police having just purchased some marijuana.  He further cooperated with police by giving his address, denying the presence of drugs inside his home and admitting to the presence of firearms.  He then gave police permission to search his apartment.  The search yielded the discovery and seizure of a 9mm handgun, AR-15 assault rifle, AK-47 assault rifle, digital scale with cocaine residue on it and suspected drug packaging materials.   Police then arrested and charged the man in Rhode Island Superior Court with various drug and firearm offense.  The man retained RI Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, to defend him against these felony charges.  Attorney Calcagni filed a motion to dismiss the felony drug charge claiming that his client was a drug user, as indicated by his observed actions and statements to police.  He also moved to dismiss the firearms charges, which carry mandatory jail upon conviction.  Attorney Calcagni argued the firearms were lawfully owned and licensed, and but for being collocated in the man’s apartment with some alleged drug residue and paraphernalia, had no nexus to unlawful drug activity.  The Court and prosecution agreed.  This resulted in the dismissal of all felony charges against the man.   However, the man admitted to misdemeanor marijuana possession and received one year of probation.

Multiple Drug Trafficking Charges: Dismissed and Amended to Maintaining a Common Nuisance with Probation

Police charged a Hispanic male with multiple drug trafficking charges such as Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Possession of Heroin in a Quantity Between One Ounce and One Kilogram, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, and Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws. These charges followed the execution of a search warrant at a third floor apartment of a multifamily dwelling. Inside, police discovered approximately 270 grams of heroin and 30 grams of cocaine. These drugs were bagged and packaged into both mid-level distribution and end-user quantities. As the police entered the home, the occupants fled through the back staircase and onto the sidewalk outside. This is where the Hispanic male and others were detained and placed under arrest. The Hispanic male was charged, as described above, and taken to court for arraignment. At the prosecutor’s request, the Court ordered him held without bail pending the outcome of an evidentiary bail hearing. The man’s family retained Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, to represent the man. Attorney Calcagni’s first order of business was getting his client released on bail, which he successfully accomplished. Attorney Calcagni then began shaping and sharpening the man’s defense. During this process, the prosecution offered the man a plea deal, which called for his guilty plea to the drug trafficking offenses. On Attorney Calcagni’s advice, the man declined and demanded his right to a jury trial. As the weeks and months passed, the Defense continued to prepare for trial. Just days before jury selection, however, the prosecution made the man another offer to resolve his case in a more favorable manner. Attorney Calcagni convinced the prosecution to amend or change the alleged conspiracy charge to the reduced, non-drug offense of Maintaining a Common Nuisance. He also persuaded the prosecution to dismiss all drug-related offenses in exchange for the man’s acceptance of responsibility to the amended charge, for which he received probation. This immigration friendly disposition allowed the Hispanic male to avoid a term of incarceration and increase his chances of remaining in the United States.

Conspiracy, Possession with Intent to Deliver Fentanyl, Heroin, Marijuana and Oxycodone, and Possessing a Firearm During Commission of a Crime of Violence:

A Warwick, Rhode Island man was under investigation for selling fentanyl. Police used an undercover officer posing as a drug user to purchase from the man and his co-defendants. After conducting nine undercover purchases, police successfully applied for a warrant to search the man’s home where he lived with his mother and father. Upon arrival, the man’s father let police inside the home and showed them to his son’s bedroom. Inside, they found various quantities of fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone pills, and marijuana, along with a digital scale and drug packaging paraphernalia. They also discovered a loaded 9mm pistol on top of the man’s bed. Based on these discoveries, the man was arrested and charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to deliver the various drugs found and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, which calls for a mandatory minimum jail sentence of three years under Rhode Island law. The man and his family retained Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, to defend him against these serious charges. With the undercover purchases and valid search warrant, Attorney Calcagni knew the evidence against his client was strong. This removed going to trial or filing a valid motion to suppress from his client’s options. Attorney Calcagni then focused on building a mitigation packet with an eye toward a pretrial disposition. The packet in this case highlighted the man’s young age, history of substance abuse, multiple suicide attempts, mental health history, education and strong family support. Attorney Calcagni also performed historic sentencing research and a comparison of offenses for similar crimes under federal law. After providing this package to four separate judges, the case was ultimately resolved. Over the State’s objection and request for a 7-year jail sentence, Attorney Calcagni successfully persuaded the Court to impose an actual term to serve of 3.5 years followed by a period of suspended jail time with probation.
View all drug offenses case results.


If you have been charged with drug or narcotics offense and need representation, contact the RI drug defense lawyer John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.