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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Law Blog

10 arrested in drug bust linked to drug trafficking

Law enforcement agents spent a year gathering evidence against 10 people arrested on charges of distributing heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine in central Florida. According to the director of the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, a 30-year-old man taken into custody was selling large quantities of heroin and fentanyl in Orange County. At the time of his arrest, police claimed that he had 3 kilograms of heroin and a gun in his possession.

The multi-agency drug task force that arrested the man along with nine other people reported that the group of alleged drug traffickers distributed 5 to 6 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl every week. The suspects allegedly hid the drugs in vehicles and drove them to parts of the state. Criminal charges against the people include trafficking in heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl, conspiracy and weapons violations.

Florida man facing drug charges after traffic stop

A 46-year-old Florida man was charged with drug possession and trafficking on the evening of Sept. 4 after officers with the Marianna Police Department allegedly discovered significant quantities of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA during a routine traffic stop in Jackson County. Reports indicate that the man was transported to an area detention facility after being taken into custody.

According to a MPD report, the sequence of events began at approximately 10:21 p.m. when officers pulled over a Cadillac SUV after allegedly observing it commit a moving traffic violation in the vicinity of South Street and Jefferson Street. Officers claim that they became suspicious when they noticed the odor of marijuana while interviewing the man behind the wheel. When asked to exit his vehicle, officers say that the man attempted to flee the scene on foot. He was apprehended after a brief foot pursuit and scuffle according to reports.

What to do about an accusation of shoplifting

There are more serious crimes than shoplifting, but that doesn't mean you should take an accusation lightly. Depending on what you're accused of stealing, a conviction could result in a variety of hefty consequences, some of which could alter your life forever.

It's important to act in the appropriate manner when confronted about shoplifting, as this can impact your case in the future. Here are a few things you need to do:

  • Stay calm and don't say too much: There will be a lot going through your mind, but it's typically better to keep your thoughts to yourself. You don't want to let something slip that will cause more harm than good. Just the same, remain calm and avoid physical confrontation.
  • Protect yourself: Security officers and store owners have the legal right to detain you if there is reason to believe you were shoplifting. That said, they must have probable cause. Just the same, they are not permitted to use deadly force or force that can cause injury.
  • You can be charged even if you didn't steal something: For example, a shoplifting charge could come about if you were helping another person steal an item. Even if you didn't know about the person's scheme, you could still face charges.
  • Remember that mistakes happen: While not always the case, you may be able to explain why it looks like you were shoplifting. For example, maybe you lost track of where you were in the store, thus wandering close to the door with an unpaid item. Explaining this to the store employee may go a long way in clearing the air and allowing you to move on without additional trouble.

Authorities take 2 into custody on drug charges

Authorities in Florida took two people into custody after they were found running a drug house out of a mobile home in Ocala. The house allegedly had a drive-thru service in addition to a walk-up window. After conducting a search of the residence on Aug. 24, authorities found paraphernalia and cash in addition to controlled substances. This led police to believe that the two were selling fentanyl.

There had been a string of overdoses that had been connected to the mobile home. Overall, there have been 98 overdoses in Ocala in 2018 with 13 resulting in a person's death. Authorities are not yet certain if any of the fatal overdoses can be traced back to the home where the pair were operating their drug business. The two were charged with possession and sale of fentanyl.

Mother and daughter arrested in drug bust

A Florida mother and daughter are facing multiple drug charges after police executed a search warrant at their Port St. Lucie home on Aug. 23. The raid came as the result of numerous neighborhood complaints about the property and an undercover sting operation.

According to the Port St. Lucie Police Department, multiple members of the community voiced concerns about suspicious activities occurring in the defendants' home, located on the 300 block of Southwest Fairway Avenue. After hearing the complaints, undercover officers went to the property and purchased 40 Xanax pills. Following the sting, more officers went to the property and allegedly smelled marijuana coming from inside the home. They then obtained a search warrant.

Traffic stop leads to drug trafficking charges for Florida man

A Florida man was charged with drug trafficking after a routine traffic stop on the night of Aug. 8 led to the discovery of significant quantities of cocaine, Viagra and cash. According to a report from the Marion County Sheriff's Office, the 47-year-old Ocala resident was released from the Marion County Jail on Aug. 9 after posting a $51,000 bond. A records check showed that the man has been incarcerated at the facility on at least 28 prior occasions.

Deputies claim that the man was exceeding the posted speed limit by 25 mph when they pulled his vehicle over on the southbound lanes of U.S. Route 301. The man allegedly refused to give deputies permission to search his vehicle, but a thorough inventory was taken after a K-9 unit gave a positive alert near the driver's door. Deputies say that the man seemed nervous and agitated as he exited his vehicle.

Florida traffic stop leads to drug and cash seizure

A 47-year-old man has been charged with felony drug possession after deputies from the Marion County Sheriff's Office allegedly found approximately 80 grams of cocaine in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop on Aug. 8. The seized drugs have a street value of about $8,000 according to media reports. Records checks are said to have revealed that the man was once sentenced to almost 10 years in prison for crimes including possessing and selling cocaine and trafficking hydrocodone.

According to a MCSO report, two deputies were on patrol on U.S. Route 301 when they observed a southbound vehicle traveling at speeds approaching 85 mph on a stretch of road with a posted speed limit of 65 mph. The traffic stop escalated when one of two police dogs sniffing the air around the vehicle alerted near the driver's door. Deputies say that this made the man behind the wheel extremely nervous.

4 reasons teens get in trouble with the law

Juvenile crime is highly problematic. These are formative, important years for teens, and simply putting them in jail can disrupt their education and throw the rest of their life off track. Infractions due to poor choices and spur-of-the-moment decisions at 16 years old can follow someone for the rest of his or her life.

As a parent, you may worry that your teen will commit a crime, that you will get that phone call you've dreaded for years. Every night that your teen gets home safe and sound, you feel exceedingly grateful.

2 men accused of plotting to bring 5kg of cocaine to Florida

An investigation that involved the FBI Miami Field Office resulted in cocaine trafficking charges against a 40-year-old local man and a 44-year-old Haitian national. According to the federal criminal complaint, the men had conspired since at least February 2016 to bring at least 5 kilograms of cocaine into the state and distribute the drugs in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The charges were announced by the FBI on July 30.

The investigation involved a collaboration of federal, state and local law enforcement agents. According to evidence cited in the indictment, authorities allege that the men possessed and intended to distribute 500 or more grams of cocaine in November 2016. Authorities succeeded in extraditing the Haitian from his home country for his arraignment.

Criminal justice reform can help combat health inequality

Racial and ethnic inequality in the criminal justice system has become a matter of serious attention in Florida and across the country. This is especially true in the case of felony drug possession offenses, which may carry lengthy sentences as well as other sanctions. Researchers note that the intense focus on drug prosecutions that began across the country in the 1970s often placed disparate attention on communities of color with resulting effects that have been devastating in a number of social areas.

Researchers who published one study noted that criminal justice reform that reclassifies felony drug offenses as misdemeanors can help to address the problems of racial inequality in the justice system and excessive incarceration. In addition, they argued that other key social measures, such as health outcomes, can be positively affected by this type of reform. When people are convicted of felony drug crimes, they can lose access to jobs, public housing and student loans. The repercussions of this kind of conviction can be felt for years at a community level as well as an individual one.

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Andrew M. Coffey has been recognized as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer by the Florida Bar. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

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