In New York City, there is a special Grand Jury that handles cases from the Special Narcotics Courts of the city. When they are called to review a case, it generally means that the persons who are in line to be indicted are the result of many months of undercover police work designed to apprehend the most dangerous drug dealers. This group is not interested in apprehending the lower level drug dealers. A New York Criminal Lawyer said they are interested in making sure that the drug suppliers that provide narcotics to the street level dealers are put behind bars for good. To ensure that this happens, the narcotics officers are specially trained to be aware of all of the different search and seizure laws that apply to drug cases so that they do not make careless errors that will wind up costing them a conviction in court. Unfortunately, they occasionally do make mistakes.
It is commonly understood that people who are engaged in drug trafficking are often involved in other felony crimes. However, a New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said when an undercover officer is made aware of criminal wrongdoing through his position with the narcotics task force, they cannot simply ignore the fact that they are entrusted to enforce all of the laws of New York. In 2004, one narcotics officer was advised by an informant that there was a group of individuals who were forming a narcotics robbery gang. Their goal was to rob drug traffickers of their money and drugs and then sell the drugs themselves. They assumed that robbing drug dealers would be easy because the drug dealers are not likely to go to the police and tell them that they had robbed. The narcotics officer began working with another undercover officer to arrest this gang of thugs. They let it be known that they would be interested in joining the gang so that they could get close to the people involved and formulate a case.
One of the undercover officers was invited to join the robbery gang. He let the other one know about the intentions of the group so that they could maintain proper surveillance. Ultimately, on the evening that the robbery was planned, the group intended to rob some drug dealers of 60 kilos of cocaine (drug possession) and an unknown amount of cash. The undercover officer was picked up by his contact person and three other males. They loaded the cars with multiple guns and drove to the address that they intended to rob. The police were already there. The robbers were taken into custody and charged with multiple felony offenses. Once they were all indicted, their attorneys filed motions to dismiss the charges because they believed that the Special Grand Jury for the Narcotics Court did not have jurisdiction to handle the robbery and firearms charges. Their logic hinged on the fact that the subjects were not charged with even one narcotics charge.
The courts evaluated this logic and considered several aspects. The first was that the Special Narcotics Courts were established in the early 1970’s to handle the multitude of drug crimes that were flooding the courts each year. However, just because their primary focus is on the drug trade, does not mean that they are not empowered to handle any and all crimes that could face any other Grand Jury. A Manhattan Criminal Lawyer said the courts reviewed the charges of the Grand Jury and determined that they were not under any more restrictions to handle cases before them than any other Grand Jury. Just because they were enacted to prosecute drug charges does not mean that they have less power to deal with any other felony crime that is brought to them to prosecute. The motion to dismiss the indictments was rejected.
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