On February 17, 2022, AZ (not the person’s real initials), a 29 year old carpenter foreman for a large construction company, drove to Andover to purchase heroin. He drove to the parking lot of a popular business off Route 93 – a parking lot that is well known to the Andover PD and the State Police as a place where drug transactions are often completed. AZ, then having spoken to his supplier on the phone, drove to a large apartment complex (in Andover) and purchased a small quantity of heroin. AZ then returned to the parking lot (!) and prepared to ingest (by snorting). A plain clothes police officer observed all of AZ’s comings and goings. The officer had actually followed AZ from the parking lot to the apartment complex and then back to the parking lot. The officer then approached the passenger side and looked in (NOT illegal). The Officer saw AZ looking down at his knees. The police report reads: “I observed in plain view, AZ holding a small cut orange straw and had a clear hard plastic object on his lap area that held a visible line of tan powder”. The police had conversation with AZ, seized the drugs, but sent AZ on his way and told him he would receive paperwork to go to court. Shortly thereafter, unbeknownst to AZ, the DEA came in and arrested AZ’s supplier at the apartment complex.
AZ had a prior arrest for Possession of Heroin in NH and could not afford a conviction here in MA.
AZ consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin explained to AZ that Attorney Lewin would take care of the case and that it was AZ’s job to get off the Heroin. AZ sought out a counselor for depression and went cold turkey getting off the Heroin. Attorney Lewin advocated on AZ’s behalf with the Andover PD.
On April 25, 2022 a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing was held at Lawrence District Court. Present were AZ, Attorney Lewin, the Assistant Clerk-Magistrate, the Police Prosecutor, and at Attorney Lewin’s request, the Officer who made the pinch. Attorney Lewin had spoken with the officer ahead of time and advocated with the police to resolve the case at the hearing without a complaint being issued against AZ. At the hearing Attorney Lewin advocated for the Clerk-Magistrate NOT to issue a criminal complaint against AZ and explained that AZ was working full time as a carpenter foreman, that he was in counseling to deal with his depression that had caused his use of heroin, and that he was drug free and had been since February. The Clerk-Magistrate asked the police for their input and the police said that they were satisfied with the outcome that Attorney Lewin was proposing. The Clerk-Magistrate then took the following action:
- NO criminal complaint was to issue.
- The Hearing was continued for six months. If AZ stays out of trouble with the law and continues with his counseling and remains drug free, then NO criminal complaint will be issued against AZ and the case will be closed. He does NOT have to be randomly tested.
A good result was obtained because the case was well prepared, by both AZ and Attorney Lewin. AZ did his part by getting into treatment and by remaining drug free. Attorney Lewin did his part by speaking with the police and “getting the ducks lined up” so that at the hearing everyone was on the same page.