SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 15, 2013

SSU students caught in chance drug bust

(Continued)

Tom Torello, a Salem State University representative, confirmed last night that all of the people arrested were students but declined to say what repercussions they might face.

“We never talk about individual actions like that,” he said.

Rocheville said it was his contention that the people charged with conspiracy to violate the controlled substance laws were at the location to buy marijuana and that the people charged with possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute were there to sell it.

Although the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana has been decriminalized in Massachusetts, it’s still illegal to buy or sell. Butler said the amount of marijuana seized is basically irrelevant to the charge of possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute, since the charge depends more on accompanying materials, like baggies and scales. There is no minimum amount of marijuana that an individual must possess in order to be charged with intending to distribute it.

Rocheville indicated that the people inside the residence had no idea he was a police officer when he went to knock on their door.

“They probably thought I was another customer,” he said.

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