A Roslindale man arrested after a drug transaction in Dedham nearly four years ago will still face jail time despite evidence in the case being linked to a statewide drug scandal, the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
The incident in question took place in March 2010, when Dedham police saw what they believed to be a hand-to-hand drug transaction in a hotel parking lot. Officers conducting surveillance at the time radioed to marked cruisers in the area to stop the involved vehicles as they left the scene.
“When police attempted to pull over the car that John Jimenez was driving, he initially stopped and appeared to comply,” Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said in a statement. “He then took off and led police on a high speed chase through several areas of Dedham. Jimenez drove up onto the sidewalk several times and collided with two different cruisers, trying to force them off the road. Jimenez ultimately lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a fence bordering the Dedham Middle School property.”
After the crash, John Jimenez, age 27 of Roslindale, jumped from his own vehicle and took off running. When officers caught up with him after a brief foot chase, he resisted arrest and ignored repeated demands to put his hands behind his back.
Officers subsequently found a large clear plastic bag containing white powder on Jimenez, as well as several smaller baggie "corners" containing a white powder, which was later revealed to be cocaine, in his right hand. Dedham police weighed the substance and found it to exceed 41 grams.
Jimenez was indicted for trafficking cocaine in excess of 28 grams, drug free school zone violation, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (his vehicle), resisting arrest and negligent operation of a motor Vehicle, Morrissey stated.
The drug certificates confirming the Dedham Police Department's field testing that the powder contained cocaine were from the Hinton Drug Lab and signed by chemist Annie Dookhan, who has since pled guilty and sent to prison for faking drug tests she claimed to have performed.
On Monday, Dec. 30, Assistant District Attorney Keith McCray asked that Jimenez be sentenced to two years in jail with 18 months to serve and the balance suspended during three years of probation after Jimenez admitted his guilt. Defense attorney William Keefe requested probation. Norfolk Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman sentenced him to two years with six months to serve, the balance suspended for three years on the non-drug charges.
“This case illustrates why we continue to look at the so-called Dookhan defendants on a case-by-case basis and determine what part of each case can and should be salvaged,” District Attorney Morrissey said in a statement. “We dismissed the drug charges in light of the potentially tainted evidence, but there was more criminal conduct here and it needed to be addressed forcefully.”