Working as a NY criminal defense attorney and as a prosecutor has allowed me to examine and analyze cases from all sides including drug crimes relating to drug sales and possession. As a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office I was cross designated multiple times with the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor to investigate drug organizations where cocaine, crack, and heroin were all sold by crews throughout New York City. As a NY criminal defense attorney, I have represented clients in narcotics and drug cases who are accused of being the target of an investigation where they allegedly sold drugs to an undercover police officer. Depending on the weight or the amount of the narcotic sold, these individuals faced charges related to either Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance or Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.
The investigations I was involved in as an assistant district attorney are not going away anytime soon. In fact, Manhattan prosecutors announced a “take down” yesterday of the “Stack Money Family” that allegedly had a drug operation in the vicinity of 143rd Street. Fifteen alleged members and associates of this organization were arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy after the police executed nine search warrants Wednesday morning. According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office press release, the crew was run by a man who was incarcerated at Rikers Island.
Since November 2007, police have been investigating the “Stack Money Family” whom prosecutors say are associated with the “Bloods” and more directly with the “Mack Baller Brims” or “Mayback Baller Brims.” “Operation Smokestack,” as it is referred to by law enforcement, not only utilized undercover officers, but surveillance techniques to make the drug purchases, identify targets, and locate stash houses.
While an arrest and an indictment is not evidence of guilt, it is likely that the prosecutors involved in this case have substantial evidence due to the scope and length of the investigation. Certainly, the members and associates of the “Stack Money Family” have a long road ahead of them. That being said, no matter the evidence, there are often challenges that should be mounted to make sure that the evidence was obtained legally and the rights of the accused have not been violated. After all, quantity and quality are not the same. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to identify a weakness or an error in the prosecution’s case or even expose a procedural or legal issue that was not properly followed by law enforcement. Whatever the situation may be, the prosecution always has the burden to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and a defendant has the right to make sure the prosecution does so.