Proposed Mass. Law: Two Years in Prison for Having Secret Car Compartment


The bill does not require police to actually find drugs or contraband items in the hidden compartment. It simply functions on the premise that the owner has an “intent” to use the compartment for illegal purposes, such as transporting drugs.

Proof that a conveyance contains a hidden compartment as defined in this section shall be prima facie evidence that the conveyance was used, intended for use in and for the business of unlawfully manufacturing, dispensing, or distributing controlled substances.”

The bill defines “hidden compartment” as any space added to a vehicle after purchase that provides concealed storage. It’s sponsored by Democrat Stefan Hay of Fitchburg.

The quoted section means that a defendant accused of violating this law is put in the position of having to prove a negative—that the compartment isn’t intended to transport drugs.”

Ohio passed a similar law in 2012. In 2013, Norman Gurley was stopped by troopers who noticed some wires in a vehicle he was driving. He was stopped and a secret compartment was found.

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