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Commonwealth v. Laureus

Superior Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex

May 18, 2017

Commonwealth
v.
James Laureus No. 136864

          Filed May 19, 2017

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          Peter B. Krupp, Justice of the Superior Court.

         Defendant James Laureus is charged with trafficking more than 36 grams of cocaine, distribution of oxycodone, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone. Each crime is also indicted with an habitual criminal sentencing enhancement under G.L.c. 279, § 25(a). The case is before me on defendant's motion to dismiss the habitual criminal indictments under Commonwealth v. McCarthy, 385 Mass. 160, 430 N.E.2d 1195 (1982). For the following reasons, the motion is ALLOWED .

         BACKGROUND

         On August 11, 2016, the grand jury heard the following information.

          The Charged Offense .

          On March 24, 2016, the Medford and Woburn police were investigating Eric Gullage (" Gullage"). As part of the investigation, undercover officer Christina Bartolomeu (" Bartolomeu") contacted Gullage by phone and asked to buy ten oxycodone pills. (Oxycodone is a Class B controlled substance.) The two arranged a meeting for later that day in Medford.

         Bartolomeu drove to the designated location. Woburn and Medford detectives, and task force officers from the Drug Enforcement Agency (" DEA"), conducted surveillance. Gullage approached and entered Bartolomeu's vehicle. Minutes later the defendant entered the area in a white Ford van and parked behind Bartolomeu's vehicle. Bartolomeu then gave Gullage the agreed-upon price--$350--for the pills. Gullage exited the vehicle and entered the white van, returning to Bartolomeu's car minutes later with a napkin containing ten pills. A lab report confirmed the pills contained oxycodone.

         Defendant left the area in the white van. The police stopped him and ordered him out of the van. They found the marked currency that Bartolomeu handed to Gullage in defendant's right jacket pocket. Defendant was detained. During a search at the Medford police station, officers discovered individually-wrapped substances, later identified as cocaine and oxycodone, in defendant's underwear.

          Defendant's Prior Convictions .

          By March 2016, defendant had two prior convictions out of Suffolk Superior Court for distribution of a Class B controlled substance. The convictions arose out of a single prosecution in Criminal No. 04-10587, and were Indictment Nos. 001 and 003[1] in that docket. Following defendant's guilty pleas on those two charges, on November 3, 2010, defendant was sentenced to five years to five years and one day in prison on each charge.

         The Commonwealth did not provide the grand jury with the plea colloquy, a plea agreement, or a police report regarding details of the underlying offense. The indictments indicate the two counts constituted two purchases of cocaine by the same undercover officer as part of a single investigation and course of conduct over five days. Indictment 001 read:

JAMES LAUREUS, on April 30, 2004, did unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally distribute to Trooper Mary Wakeham a certain controlled substance, to wit: cocaine, a Class B controlled substance ...

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