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Chelsea Police Charge Two in Cocaine Distribution Bust

In what is being called a “major drug bust” two men, one from Chelsea and one from Florida, have been charged with trafficking in cocaine in the area. The two, Manuel Castillo and Fernando Marcano-Garcia, faced Chelsea District Court Judge Livingston who set their bail at $750,000 apiece.

This comes after a four month investigation by police into local drug sales. The investigation also included federal law enforcement agencies.

According to affidavits, police observed Castillo as he drove from home with a backpack. Police were simultaneously watching the other man and spotted a meeting where the two went into a building with Castillo carrying the backpack. When the second man was pulled over later, they discovered three kilograms (6.6 pounds) of cocaine in the car. This led to a search warrant on Castillo’s house where police seized a “large quantity of cocaine” and $125,000 in cash. A subsequent search of Castillo’s safety deposit box yielded another $55,000.

Because some of the activities were located near a school, additional charges were filed for dealing in a school zone.

What’s didn’t come out in the story was why the Massachusetts resident was giving drugs to the guy from Florida. One would expect the transaction to go the other way round. After all, Florida is one of the major ports of entry for cocaine. There may be much more to this story as neither man is charged with dealing directly to the public at this time.

In Massachusetts, the quantity of drugs seized is what defines someone as a trafficker, not actual proof of sales. The assumption is that such a large quantity of cocaine couldn’t be for personal use and has to be for sale. The law is written this way to make enforcement easier and to set clear penalties. You don’t have to show direct intent. Instead, prosecutors can simply weigh the amount of drugs seized to determine appropriate charges.

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