Selected Case Summaries 2010
- United States District Court, Worcester, November, 2010: Client, a 23 year old Worcester woman was charged in a two (2) count federal indictment alleging: 1. Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, more than 500 grams, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 846, and 2. Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1). Attorney Cronin was Lead Counsel under the federal Criminal Justice Act, and the defendant was released after detention hearing with conditions under Pre-Trial Services while the case was pending for 21 months. It was alleged that this single mother had conspired with two men, one being her former boyfriend and father of her young child, to sell 1,161 grams of methamphetamine, calling for a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 years if convicted. The two men waived their rights to trial, pleading guilty and were sentenced to prison terms of 11 years and 10 years, respectively. Attorney Cronin’s client refused to plead guilty and insisted that the government prove their case at a jury trial. On November 1, 2010, a federal jury of 12 was impaneled and sworn at the U.S. District Court in Worcester before Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV. On day 3 of her Jury Trial, after the Court had ruled in favor of the defendant on pivotal evidentiary issues and motions raised by defense counsel, the government substantially reduced their pre-trial plea demands and now offered to enter into a capped plea agreement under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(c), proposing to the Court an agreed disposition with a range of disparate recommendations; where the government would recommend 36 months imprisonment and the defendant could argue for 4 days credit time served and 3 years supervised release on the single count of conspiracy (with the government requesting dismissal of the distribution count). The client had no prior criminal record and was “safety valve eligible” with a Total Offense Level of 24 and Criminal History Category I according to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Table (U.S.S.G. Chapter 5, Part A), for an imprisonment range between 51 to 63 months. Attorney Cronin argued for the capped plea agreement and for a downward departure from the advisory sentencing guidelines, in light of the defendant’s lack of prior record and acceptance of responsibility. At the sentencing hearing on March 7, 2011, Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV, imposed a sentence that committed the defendant to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of 12 months and 1 day, with 3 years of supervised release thereafter. The Judge allowed the defendant to self-report to prison within 30 days and it is expected that she will serve 10 months imprisonment before being released. Her co-defendants did not exercise their jury trial rights and instead plead guilty to mandatory minimum 10 year jail terms.
- Milford District Court, October 2010: Client, a 27 year old Milford woman, was accused of Criminal Harassment and making Annoying Telephone calls. A Harassment Prevention Order had issued against the client under G.L. c. 258E. At a hearing seeking extension of the order, after Attorney Cronin cross-examined the complainant, a judge found that the allegations did not satisfy the definition of harassment and denied extension of the Order. A Clerk Magistrate then denied issuance of a criminal complaint against the client.
- Worcester Central District Court, October 2010: Client, a 41 year old Marine Corps veteran was charged with violation of an Abuse Prevention Order under G.L. c. 209A. Client had battled drug and alcohol addictions and had served a total of 50 months previous imprisonment. Despite the government’s recommendation for incarceration, Attorney Cronin persuaded the judge to order a suspended 2 year sentence, with one year probation, conditioned on completion of the Mission Direct Vet program and reside at Veteran’s, Inc. in Worcester, with drug and alcohol treatment and an order to stay away from the victim.
- Worcester Superior Court, October 2010: Client, a 44 year old Southbridge woman was on from and after probation after having completed a 4-5 year state prison sentence for Armed Assault with Intent to Murder. While on probation she was charged with new crimes of Escape from Custody and Assault and Battery with Dangerous Weapon. Based on the new offenses the government requested that her probation be violated and that she be sentenced to an additional 5-7 year state prison sentence. After a disputed evidentiary hearing in Worcester superior court, a judge found that the defendant was in violation of probation and sentenced her to 1 ½ to 2 years in state prison.
- Worcester Superior Court, October 2010: Client, a 37 year old Worcester man was charged with 6 indictments, alleging: (1) Possession of a Firearm without an FID card, (2) Possession of a Firearm with 3 prior violent felonies, (3) Improper Storage of a Firearm, (4) Possession of a Class D Substance, (5) Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class D Substance (9 pounds of marijuana), (6) Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substances Act. Attorney Cronin’s Motion to Suppress the Search Warrant was denied after a judge found that defendant had no standing to contest the search, where he had no legitimate expectation of privacy in the vehicle searched, not being owner or passenger at time of the search. Attorney Cronin then filed a Motion to Dismiss the Firearm Indictments, and a judge allowed the motion on grounds that “There is no basis in the evidence presented to the Grand Jury from which knowledge of the firearm may be inferred and thus constructive possession cannot be established.” On the remaining drug counts the client was sentenced to credit for time served and 2 years from and after probation.