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DA moves to seize BMW it says man used as a drug store on wheels at Mass and Cass

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office yesterday moved to seize the 2017 BMW 750I it alleges a man sold crack out of at Mass and Cass and at the South Bay mall.

In a filing in Suffolk Superior Court, the DA's office asked a judge to let it hold the car - and the $2,839 police found inside it - as Jason Lattimore's case on charges that include trafficking in a Class B substance and illegal possession of a large-capacity firearm - proceeds, under a state law that allows for the forfeiture of items used in illegal drug sales. Should he be found guilty, the DA's office would then move to sell off the car and split the proceeds of that and the cash with Boston Police.

According to the DA's seizure request, the BPD citywide drug unit already had its eye on Lattimore, 40, when its detectives and officers staked out Mass and Cass on Aug. 1.

Officers observed Latimore return to the Vehicle several times throughout this investigation and enter the passenger side of the Vehicle, appearing to retrieve something from the floorboard and then return to the area where he meets his potential buyers.

The request continued that the officers watched Latimore selling drugs out of a backpack he'd retrieved from the trunk for about a half hour on Atkinson Street. After he was done there, he and a companion then drove down Bradston Street, turn onto Massachusetts Avenue, and then stop, as a man ran towards the car - allegedly to buy some drugs.

Latimore next drove through the South Bay mall parking lot, where he allegedly pulled into a space near the Stop & Shop for what appeared to be another drug sale, the DA's seizure request says, adding that at that point, the drug detectives had seen enough, the DA's office writes, and they had officers in a marked cruiser stop the BMW at Southampton and Bradston streets, where they arrested Latimore.

Inside the backpack, the complaint continues, officers found both cocaine powder and crack, in a series of plastick bags and a Glock-style firearm loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition. Also seized: 43 gold one-dollar coins.

Innocent, etc.



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Wow, great idea to use a BMW! That wouldn't stand out or anything.

Voting closed 12

The man hasn't been convicted of anything, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts wants to steal his property. That's not right, and even though courts have said it is constitutional, it flies in the face of the idea that no one should be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

If he really is innocent until proven guilty, then neither the DA nor the cops have any right to rob him.

Voting closed 61

…. he would have been allowed to drive away.

He should consider what crimes to commit, if he wants to hold onto his motor vehicle.

Voting closed 32

They filed to HOLD it while awaiting the conviction. It's right there in the article. If he is found innocent they would not be entitled to anything.

"Should he be found guilty, the DA's office would then move to sell off the car and split the proceeds of that and the cash with Boston Police."

Voting closed 36

The bar for civil asset forfeiture in MA is very low. There have been attempts to raise the requirements to "a preponderance of evidence" that the assets were bought with profits of criminal acts but the bills died in the state house.


Voting closed 23

I am not a lawyer but, after some researching, this appears to be a case of criminal, rather than civil forfeiture. So the state will have to prove their case in court.

However, if the state loses, I do not know if they can just re-file a civil forfeiture and keep the car anyway without proof. I am sure the DA and BPD won't give up assets that they have seized for their own benefit without a fight.

Voting closed 6

I am legal dilettante, but provided that there is strong evidence (gun and drugs were found inside the car), would it be better to give this suspected peddler of despair and death a chance to hide his valuables away? Quite likely this guy has already costed us $millions in societal damage. In the unlikely case that he is found innocent, he can get it all back.

Also, dealing drugs at Mass and Cass out of a fairly late model BMW 750I? I'd like to hear more about that story!

Voting closed 37

A jury doesn't find someone "innocent" at trial. We are all presumed to be innocent. Not guilty simply means that the prosecution did not convince the jury they're guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Voting closed 18

My cursory reading* says that persons convicted under Chapter 94C: CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT are subject to forfeiture of related assets. The various paragraphs under Section 47 talk about the items that can be seized "which have been manufactured, delivered, distributed, dispensed or acquired in violation of this chapter", etc. This doesn't sound like a proceeding in rem against the asset itself, which I agree is evil, but a penalty upon conviction.

*Not an attorney

Voting closed 9

It's not uncommon in civil cases for plaintiffs to seek from the courts a writ of attachment against a defendants assets - even before a case goes to trial. An example might be if a plaintiff anticipates a large judgment in their favor- let's say a half a million dollars - but the defendant is known to have only $500 in the bank but has a million dollar home in their name. They can ask the court to effectively hold that asset until any judgment may need to be satisfied. Even though that may impair the ability of the defendant to do with their property what they wish.

*Also not an attorney.

Voting closed 7

During the commission of this or a similar crime in which he had been observed or for which video evidence was available, you'd advocate he still keep that property?

Voting closed 14

If he was not found guilty, it can be impounded and returned.

Voting closed 8

Not a kid on a bike or moped with bad parents?

Close the car lanes, Mayor Wu.

Voting closed 19

Are you suggesting that cars should be prohibited from the mall and Mass Ave to eliminate drug dealers?

Voting closed 4

Tere should be an additional charge for buyers and sellers of illicit drugs when they buy and sell more tan 200 yards from their own home. It's really not fair that BPD and Dorchester residents have to deal with thus. Most people in my neighborhood are not drug dealers or drug users, but there are a lot of people buying, selling and using drugs around here.

Voting closed 8

What happened to the Suffolk DA?

Voting closed 9