Edgartown District Court Judge Benjamin Barnes set bail at $10,000 for Michael Pacheco, 35, after he was arraigned Thursday on one count of cocaine trafficking (36 grams or more, less than 100 grams) and possession with the intent to distribute a Class A drug (fentanyl). Judge Barnes revoked Pacheco’s bail on another matter, citing a bail conditions violation.
Working through confidential sources, Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Michael Giardino said Oak Bluffs Police learned Pacheco was allegedly “in the business of selling and distributing cocaine.”
Police were able to gather information on how Pacheco allegedly brought cocaine and other controlled substances to the Vineyard, Giardino said, and ultimately questioned him on Dec. 28 and discovered that he was in possession of 39½ grams of cocaine. Giardino described that amount as “well over the trafficking weight.”
Giardino requested $50,000 bail on the drug charges and revocation of bail based on bail conditions set in regard to other charges Pacheco was arraigned on in October — two counts of assault and battery on a family or household member. Giardino argued revocation was justified in part because Pacheco represented “a danger to the community.”
Defense attorney Ryan Searle, who represented Pacheco for bail purposes only, argued bail shouldn’t be revoked on his prior charges and that he be released on personal recognizance on both the new and old matters. Concerning the new charges, Searle stressed Pacheco was cooperative with police, and didn’t threaten them, try to flee, or try to dump anything in his possession. Searle described Pacheco as a “seasonally employed cook” who is in the process of applying for unemployment. As such, Searle said, her client wasn’t in a position to post $500 bail, let alone $50,000.
“Right now it is evident that he’s suffering from substance use disorder,” Searle said. “It is evident that he is going through withdrawal as we speak in the courtroom.”
Searle said there was no reason for her client to go through withdrawal in the Dukes County Jail. She suggested that if recognizance with certain conditions was given, her client could instead head straight to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital emergency room. Additionally, Searle suggested the court could impose substance abuse evaluations, random testing on her client, and probation department check-ins.
Pacheco was detained as he disembarked from a Patriot boat in Oak Bluffs, according to an Oak Bluffs Police Department Facebook post. Members of the Martha’s Vineyard Drug Task Force participated in the investigation and apprehension of Pacheco, according to the post.
Pacheco is expected back in court Jan. 6.