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Young, Hungry New York Assistant DAs Look For High-Profile Cases

Assistant District Attorneys in New York City spend their days prosecuting thousands of individuals every year. Most will spend a few years of anonymity at the beginning of their law careers gaining experience and looking for their big opportunity to make a name for themselves. When a high-profile name comes under investigation, the pressure is on to seek a conviction.

Marketing Director For Chipotle Arrested

The New York Daily Mail recently reported that Mark Crumpacker, marketing director for Chipotle has been arrested on charges of buying cocaine, after a lengthy city-wide investigation into a drug ring operation. While there is nothing unusual about New York City police making drug arrests, the case calls into question the ability of a public figure to be afforded due process and receive the same plea options that an assistant DA would offer others with less "celebrity" status.     

In Mr. Crumpacker's case, the investigation focused on New York's Lower East Side neighborhood. According to the charges, the ring involved more than $75,000 in cocaine sales to what is described as 18 "white collar" individuals arrested for drug possession and criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

Challenging The Methods and Means Of The Investigation

Attorneys for the defendants caught in large "sting" operations or lengthy investigations often have an opportunity to challenge the evidence based on the methods and means of the investigation. Were credible witnesses questioned by the police? Did the police gather any evidence illegally? Were search and siezure rights violated? Following the arrest, were proper procedures followed regarding notifying the defendants of their rights? Did they have the opportunity to have legal counsel present throughout the process? The longer and more complex the investigation becomes, the higher likelihood of the police or federal investigators violating constitutional rights or wrongly targeting an innocent person.

Equall Access Under The Law

In all likelihood, each defendant in the case will hire their own lawyer, who should specialize in New York drug charges defense. The lawyers should make themselves aware of how the prosecutors treat each case, with special attention paid to the high-profile defendants, such as Mr. Crumpacker. Under our criminal justice system, there should be no difference in due process based on who a person is in society, but we all know it doesn't always turn out that way.

Each defendant will be given the right to make their best deal or fight the charges in a trial. Attorneys may wait to see what the prosecutor offers and what other defendants agree to before advising their own clients or starting their aggressive narcotics defense. If there is an unequal application of the law vis-a-vis similar charges against the others, there may be an opportunity to have charges dismissed, reduced or the conviction brought up on appeal.

Get A Lawyer With The Right Kind Of Experience

Unfortunately, many of the individuals charged as a result of this lengthy investigation may hire a lawyer who handles New York City drug defense cases only on a part-time basis. It takes years of experience in these complex cases to know the ins-and-outs of how assistant prosecutors build their cases, particularly when a public figure is involved. Mr. Crumpacker's name has already made it into the newspapers, and that changes the playing field for everyone of the defendants involved.    

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