The Norwood Police and members of the Norfolk County Police Anti-Crime (NORPAC) task force broke down the door at 110 Pellana Road, Norwood on Wednesday and arrested four men inside. According to Boston.com, and the Norwood Patch, the police had a warrant based upon upon information that the resident, Stephen Petrosh, had been selling marijuana. They attempted to execute the warrant (search the place) by knocking first. The police said that they could see people inside that were not responding to their knocks, so they broke the door down.
When they got inside, the officers found Petrosh along with three other men: Joseph Carbone, Joseph Spaziani, and Justin Schrekenghaust. They also found LSD, Psilocybin (mushrooms), marijuana, Ritalin, Lyrica, Varenicline, weapons, ammunition, cash, scales and other drug paraphernalia.
Petrosh, Carbone, and Spaziani were each charged with possessing the drugs (except the prescription medication) with intent to distribute them as well as unlicensed possession of ammunition. Schrekenghaust was only charged with possession of LSD. Apparently, none of the alleged weapons were illegal. Petrosh also has a drug case already pending in the Concord District Court. All of them made bail and were due in the Dedham District Court for arraignment the next day.
1. I expect that the search warrant was based upon Petrosh's alleged sales to a cooperating informant. It should be noted that unless that informant is identified, there will be no charge for that sale, and evidence of that sale will not come into evidence against Petrosh's. Nor will the evidence of his pending case be allowed into evidence. So proof of an intent to distribute must be based on the amount of drugs found (the articles do not reveal this information) and the other indicators of distribution -- usually scales, money packaging materials, notes/ledgers, etc.
2. Each man arrested stands in his own unique defensive position. Surely, each would be well advised to retain experienced defense counsel. Presence in the apartment is not sufficient to prove possession of drugs, or an intent to distribute them. The articles do not divulge the reasons that the police charged three men with possession with intent to distribute, and one with simple possession. One or more of the three men with the more serious charges may not have actually possess the drugs at all. It could be that the police lumped them all together for the Dedham District Court to sort out.
3. Although Petrosh made bail and was allowed to walk into the Dedham District Court on Thursday morning, there is a fair possibility that the prosecutors there would try to be sure he did not walk out. This is because of his pending case in Concord. The Concord District Court probably gave him a "bail warning" - explaining that that if he were arrested while awaiting trial, he could be held for up to 60 days without bail. If so, the law would allow the Dedham District Court to revoke his Concord District Court bail, and lock him up. If Petrosh spoke with counsel in advance, he would have been prepared and may have retained his liberty.
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The facts used in this blog were obtained solely from the cited source(s). There may be additional information that would alter the analysis.