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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Law Blog

Man charged after over $400,000 worth of drugs seized

On Sept. 16, a Florida man was taken into custody and charged after investigators found more than $400,000 worth of drugs after executing a search warrant. The activity took place at a residence located in the 700 block of Redwood Avenue in Panama City at about 6 p.m.

During the execution of the search warrant, authorities recovered about 156.9 grams of cocaine, over 4,115 grams of methamphetamine oil, 16,9 grams of crack cocaine and 14.3 grams of crystal meth. They also allegedly found more than $3,700 in cash that was thought to be from the sale of narcotics. Ultimately, authorities said that the drugs seized were worth a total of $428,460. Authorities noted that the investigation was still ongoing, so it was not disclosed if any other individuals were thought to be involved.

Assaulting a firefighter in Florida

Firefighters in Florida must respond to accident scenes and conflagrations. When people are charged with assaulting firefighters or committing batteries against them, the defendants may face stiff penalties.

Florida law specifically forbids assaults and batteries on firefighters as well as other first responders. There are several levels of offenses that depend on the severity of the assaults and the presence of any weapons. If a person is convicted of a simple assault on a firefighter, the person may face a misdemeanor of the second or first degree. If the person is convicted of a battery against a firefighter, he or she may face a first-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony, depending on the severity.

Ex-romantic partners are first targeted in murder investigations

A startling and frightening statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights why courts target exes who have been accused of domestic violence after a woman is murdered. According to the statistic, approximately 55 percent of female murder victims were killed in a domestic violence circumstance.

Police and Florida prosecutors are aware of this fact, which is why they tend to investigate romantic partners first after a murder has occurred. Although this tactic has proved fruitful in apprehending and convicting many individuals who have actually committed murder, it can also mean that innocent ex-partners end up being accused -- or targeted in investigations -- relating to a heinous crime they didn't commit.

Man charged with drug trafficking tries to hide cash in rectum

A Florida man who was taken into custody on suspicion of drug possession on Aug. 26 was also accused of attempting to hide a large amount of money from the police. It appeared that the man attempted to hide multiple $20 bills in his rectum.

A deputy reportedly conducted a traffic stop on the man's white Buick after he was observed speeding on East Highway 41. When the deputy went to talk to the man, the deputy reported that there was the odor of marijuana present. During the search of the vehicle, about 197 grams of methamphetamine, 4 grams of heroin and rock cocaine was discovered. The man also had a small amount of marijuana and cash on his person when he was taken into custody.

Man attempts to bring drugs into jail using fake leg

A man was taken into custody on Aug. 24 after he was accused of attempting to smuggle heroin into a Florida jail using his prosthetic leg. He had initially been brought to the jail on a warrant for neglecting to appear in court on a driving with a suspended license charge.

The man was being booked into the Marion County Jail when he was asked to remove his prosthetic leg in order to be searched. Deputies said that the man appeared hesitant and questioned them on whether the removal was actually necessary. After he complied, authorities recovered a syringe from the false leg. The man claimed that he used the needle to inject vitamins into chickens, but the liquid inside the syringe tested positive for heroin.

Couple booked on drug trafficking charges

A couple who fell asleep outside of a SunTrust Bank branch in the Florida Panhandle will face criminal charges related to drug trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia as well as possession of weapons. According to reports, the 23-year old woman and a 40-year old man were approached by police officers who found them passed out on the evening of Aug. 12.

When the officers arrived on scene to wake up the couple and interview them, a strong marijuana odor reported permeated the air which ostensibly gave the officers probable cause to carry out a search. The press release issued by the police department indicates that the officers found less than 20 grams of marijuana, a small bag of heroin, 6 ounces of methamphetamine, three handguns, ammunition. a few tablets of the prescription drug lorazepam, and more than $6,000 in cash.

2 charged with drug offenses following alleged car burglary

Two Florida residents were taken into custody on Aug. 7 on suspicion of being involved in a car burglary and for being in possession of drugs. Authorities said that the individuals, a 26-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man, were found sleeping in a Volkswagen Jetta in a McDonald's parking lot at 4:30 a.m.

Authorities found the woman on the front seat while the man was in the back with a part of his body hanging out of the vehicle. The deputies noticed that there was a 10-inch blade underneath the woman while syringes were reportedly seen inside a backpack. Emergency services were called after the man was found to be unresponsive. The woman claimed that he was a heavy sleeper.

Emotional abuse is a type of domestic violence

What comes to mind when you think about domestic violence? Like many, you may assume that domestic violence and physical abuse go together hand in hand.

While physical abuse may be the most common form of domestic violence, there are other types that you need to be aware of.

5 charged with meth, firearms possession

Five Florida residents were taken into custody on Aug. 8 following the execution of a search warrant at a New Port Richey residence. Authorities said that meth, firearms and a variety of Nazi propaganda was recovered during the search.

Approximately 12 grams of meth along with a variety of opiates were discovered in addition to drug packaging materials and drug use materials such as needles and spoons. The weapons that were found included a rifle and several pistols plus holsters and ammunition. The Nazi propaganda consisted of oaths, rules and hierarchy materials. Authorities also said they recovered hundreds of pages of bank accounts, personal identification information, credit cards and a variety of ID cards. Further, they also found vehicle titles and insurance cards. A stolen vehicle was found nearby.

Juvenile lifers might be resentenced

In Florida, some juveniles who are charged with serious crimes are tried as adults. In some cases, juveniles have been sentenced to life sentences without the possibility of parole. The federal government has reviewed tough sentencing of juveniles and has made some changes following two Supreme Court decisions. This means that juveniles who have received life without parole sentences may request that those sentences be reviewed.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that sentencing juveniles to life without parole for homicide offenses is cruel and unusual punishment and constitutionally impermissible in all but the most reprehensible cases. This ruling does not mean that juveniles can never be sentenced to life without parole, but it does mean that such sentences are supposed to be rare and reserved for those offenders who are deemed to be irredeemable.

Certified | The Florida Bar | Criminal Trial Law

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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