Centre County Drug Delivery Case
State College Drug Defense Attorney Failed to Thoroughly Investigate Charges and Review Evidence
The client was a target of a large cocaine distribution investigation in Centre and Clinton Counties that was supervised by the Attorney General’s Office. The client was charged along with various co-defendants with Delivery, Possession With Intent to Deliver, and other offenses related to drug activity. The client was accused of delivering cocaine to a confidential informant on at least two occasions. The client was represented by a Centre County criminal defense lawyer that recommended that the client accept a guilty plea to charges of delivery of cocaine. The client later filed a pro se PCRA petition and alleged that his drug defense lawyer was ineffective for failing to receive and properly review discovery.
State College PCRA Attorney Appointed
Experienced State College defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle was appointed by the Centre County Court to provide representation for the client. The experienced criminal defense lawyer received the discovery materials from the former State College criminal defense lawyer and noticed that important materials had not been included. For example, the laboratory reports for the controlled substances that were allegedly given by the client to the confidential informant were not contained in the discovery materials. The State College drug defense lawyer requested those materials from the Attorney General, and, upon receiving those reports, the criminal defense lawyer discovered that the substance was not cocaine.
The former drug defense lawyer had recommended that the client plead guilty to a delivery of cocaine charge even though the forensic reports confirmed that the substance was not cocaine. The Centre County criminal defense lawyer was prepared to argue that the former drug defense lawyer was clearly ineffective for having the client plead guilty to an offense that was not supported by the evidence. Before the hearing commenced, the criminal defense lawyer met with the Attorney General to discuss a possible resolution, and the Attorney General agreed to have the Centre County judge grant the PCRA relief and allow the client to withdraw his guilty pleas to the charges. The drug defense lawyer then re-negotiated a deal with the Attorney General that reduced the client’s overall sentence dramatically.