BEVERLY — Essex county prosecutors have dropped cocaine trafficking charges against two men who, a judge later found, had their rights violated by Beverly police when the officers entered an apartment without a warrant, then used information they found inside to obtain a search warrant.
That search warrant turned up two unlicensed handguns, nearly half a pound of cocaine, and heroin, in an apartment where the two men were staying on Cabot Street back in 2017. In a decision last October, Judge James Lang found no justification for police to stay in the apartment while waiting to get a search warrant, saying officers should have secured the door and waited outside.
But neither Kevin Sanchez, 25, of Saugus, nor Anthony Augusta, 27, of Beverly, are out of legal jeopardy.
Augusta is still facing several charges stemming from a police pursuit after Beverly detectives stopped the car he was driving, in the mistaken belief he was Sanchez, before the raid on Cabot Street in October 2017. During a foot chase, Augusta allegedly also tossed a satchel containing drugs.
During a brief court appearance Wednesday, his attorney told a Salem Superior Court judge that she is in discussions with the prosecutor on the case to resolve those remaining charges through a plea agreement.
Meanwhile, Sanchez is under indictment in a separate case that involved his arrest in Lynn last February, while out on bail in the Beverly case. He has been indicted on charges of cocaine trafficking of 18 to 36 grams and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. That case is still pending.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.