WESTFIELD, Mass. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS) – It may seem like an Easthampton man charged with possession of marijuana got off easy with a small fine, but he also forfeited nearly $500 cash he had made selling drugs.
Cassidy D. Turene, 20, of 10 First Avenue, Easthampton, had charges of possession to distribute a Class D drug dismissed upon payment of $150 in Westfield District Court on Thursday.
Westfield Police had seized three full Mason jars, along with a large glassine plastic bag full of marijuana during a traffic stop last fall, according to court records. A caller had reported a black 2002 Chrysler Sebring coupe operating erratically on Montgomery Street around 7:15 p.m. on October 29.
Turene drove the vehicle across the Great River Bridge, turned east onto Meadow Street and then onto East Main Street where he entered the Westfield Shops’ parking lot. Police watched Turene proceed through two stop signs within the plaza without stopping despite the lot being full of other vehicles and pedestrians, according to court records.
When police caught up with Turene’s vehicle near Five Guys Restaurant, Office Sean Smith noticed that the defendant’s eyes were red and glassy, and “there was an overwhelming odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle,” according to court records.
As Turene exited the vehicle, the officer saw a large wooden handled knife tucked between the driver’s seat and center console. The officers found the marijuana as the vehicle was searched for more weapons.
Along with the marijuana, police found “numerous small empty glassine plastic bags commonly used for distributing marijuana,” a digital scale and $438 in cash.
Massachusetts General Law Chap. 94C, Section 47 states:
“All moneys, negotiable instruments, securities or other things of value furnished or intended to be furnished by any person in exchange for a controlled substance in violation of this chapter . . . ” shall be subject to forfeiture to the commonwealth, according to malegislature.gov.
This is exactly what the judge ruled along with fining Turene. “The final order of the court shall provide that said moneys and the proceeds of any such sale shall be distributed equally between the prosecuting district attorney or attorney general and the city, town or state police department involved in the seizure,” according to malegislature.gov.
Oh, and Turene “forfeited” all his marijuana as well.
Staff Writer Christine Charnosky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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