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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Law Blog

Hotel employee taken into custody on drug charges

A 52-year-old Florida man was taken into custody on Feb. 13 on charges related to selling drugs from the hotel where he worked. There were other individuals in the areas searched when law enforcement arrived to do a search, but they were all released.

The search was based on a warrant and was carried out by a SWAT team and the Fort Walton Beach Police Department's Street Crime Unit on the hotel lobby and a room in the hotel. Reportedly, officers and detectives seized scales, drug packaging material, cannabis, methamphetamine, Fentanyl and other drug-related equipment.

2 FSU football players headed to court for smoking pot

The athletics department at Florida State University in Tallahassee acknowledged that local police cited two student athletes for smoking marijuana. The university intends to address the situation internally and did not provide more details about how the students might be disciplined. Both male students, age 19, held positions on the 2017 football roster, one as a freshman running back and the other as a sophomore defensive back.

A police officer reported approaching their vehicle that was parked near Doak Campbell Stadium after watching it drive suspiciously without the headlights on in the dark. Court documents recounted the officer's claim of smelling cannabis and witnessing the driver with a blunt.

Domestic violence statistics: These numbers may shock you

Domestic violence remains a major problem throughout the United States, with this impacting millions upon millions of people every year.

Even when a person does his or her best to avoid this type of trouble, there is no way of knowing what the future will bring.

Undercover police arrest Broward woman

A South Florida woman is facing multiple felony charges after an undercover operation by Hollywood Police. The woman is accused of drug trafficking and mixing heroin with fentanyl. She was charged with trafficking fentanyl, cocaine possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Authorities credit an undercover investigation with the arrest of the Plantation woman, who is alleged to have been in possession of 21 bags of fentanyl with a total weight of 6.2 ounces along with crack cocaine when apprehended in her car. The woman has a history of working as a chiropractic assistant but her clinical license is currently expired.

DEA alleges that Florida home was used to distribute drugs

Federal authorities have taken steps to seize a Florida home that is alleged to have been the base of a criminal organization that distributed large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine in Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Wakulla and Franklin counties. The 57-year-old owner of the property, which reports indicate sits on 8.23 acres, was taken into custody on Jan. 17 after agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration raided the property.

The raid followed a five-month investigation in which the DEA was assisted by the Leon County Sheriff's Office, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. During the investigation, agents installed cameras to surveil individuals allegedly entering the home to deliver or pick up drugs and gathered evidence from wiretaps and confidential informants. In papers filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the DEA alleges that the property was the main distribution point for the organization and was also used to store equipment, vehicles and the proceeds of illegal narcotics sales.

Alleged Florida drug dealer detained by cops

On the morning of Jan. 19, Miami Beach Police took a man into custody on numerous charges, some of which were possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, possession with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a school and possession for the purpose of trafficking. The police claim that the 48-year-oldman is a "well-known" drug dealer on Ocean Drive.

With a search warrant, a Miami Beach SWAT team and a Strategic Investigation squad scoured the man's apartment, reportedly leading them to find money, in the amount of $33,207, and to seize 226.6 grams of cocaine. The man did not resist arrest.

Florida lawmaker continues to pursue marijuana decriminalization

State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando has once again filed legislation to end criminal penalties for possession of personal use amounts of marijuana. His House Bill 1203 defines the acceptable amounts as no more than 20 grams of marijuana or no more than 5 grams of concentrated cannabis extracts. This represents Smith's second attempt to designate possession of small amounts of marijuana as a civil offense instead of a criminal one.

Proposed penalties for possession would involve modest fines and community service. Minors might have to complete a drug awareness program. Smith wants to expand marijuana decriminalization throughout the state. Tampa, Orlando, and several other jurisdictions have already moved to citations for possession instead of making it a crime.

Why are eyewitnesses wrong so often?

Eyewitness testimony is often thought of as one of the backbones of the American justice system. When someone comes forward and says he or she saw the defendant at the scene of the crime, it's hard not to imagine the jury gasping as they all realize that person must be guilty.

Right?

Florida woman faces drug charges for cocaine, marijuana

A 31-year-old woman is facing drug-related charges after the Florida Highway Patrol stopped her for a window tint violation and found drugs in her car. The woman also had her 4-year-old and 11-month-old with her. The trooper noticed the smell of marijuana. The woman consented to a search and said her husband was also one of the car's drivers and that she had packed the car with a friend. A second trooper arrived and removed the children from the vehicle.

Reportedly, the trunk of the car contained a block of cocaine in a Walmart bag. A safe contained a bag of cocaine, marijuana and illegal mushrooms. A suitcase had two large bags of THC hash in it and 13 bags of marijuana. The arrest report also stated that in the middle console there was drug paraphernalia.

Florida police detain 2 for selling pain medication

Florida police took a 26-year-old Key West woman into custody on Dec. 19, 2017, for selling drugs. She faces three counts of using a two-way device to facilitate a felony and three felony counts of dealing opium. A 32-year-old man was also arrested in connection with the woman. He faces charges of selling opium within 1,000 feet of a school, using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony, drug equipment possession, cocaine possession and selling opium.

Police had been working on the case for months. In late April, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office had an informant arrange an oxycodone deal with the woman using Facebook messenger. The woman allegedly sold the informant four pills. She also allegedly sold more pills at another location in May.

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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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