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April 25, 2012
Gloucester District Court: Judge backs evidence challenge, dismisses pot case
By Steven Fletcher Staff Writer

Judge Richard Mori dismissed a charge for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute brought against a Gloucester man Tuesday after allowing a motion to suppress evidence filed by the man's attorney.

Jeffery Manshel, 20, of 22 Amos Drive, faced the distribution charge in Gloucester District Court.
The charge followed a July 2011 arrest in which Gloucester police arrested Manshel on a warrant in the parking lot of the Dunkin' Donuts on Washington Street.

After his arrest, the department's incident report states, both officers noticed a strong smell of unburnt marijuana emanating from his vehicle. Officers impounded the vehicle and searched it, finding 12 bags of marijuana in the glove compartment.

Manshel's attorney, Victor Koufman, of Koufman and Frederick LLP in Salem, filed a motion to suppress evidence and Manshel's statements concerning the marijuana. His motion states that police did not have the right to search Manshel's vehicle, or impound it as they did, and the motion was granted.
Manshel also faced a charge for disturbing the peace brought after police broke up a house party at 23 Mt. Vernon St. in May 2011. Mori dismissed it pending payment of $175 in court costs.
A Gloucester man, facing a criminal complaint for negligent operation after he allegedly drove home from an Elwell Street residence while intoxicated last July, had that charge continued for a year without a finding, while other charges were dismissed.

Police had charged Ramon Lopez, 30, of 28 Patriot Circle, with driving without a license, leaving the scene of property damage, negligent operation, marked lanes violations and disturbing the peace.
Judge Mori continued the charges of leaving the scene and negligent operation, and Lopez was assessed $300 in court costs. The state dismissed the disturbing the peace charge, while the remaining charges were filed with Lopez' consent, according to the court.

A charge of domestic assault and battery brought against a Gloucester man was dismissed for failure to prosecute.

Mori dismissed the charge, brought against Timothy Cloutman, 17, of 20 Bond St., who was arrested in January after police responded to his residence.

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