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Three arrested in Florida after search turns up meth, alligators


Some stories could only happen in Florida. Recently police executing a search warrant at a home in Lake Wales, in Polk County, allegedly made some interesting discoveries. In addition to several hundred grams of methamphetamine and a marijuana plant, they found an illegal undersize fish and two frozen alligators.

A man and a woman who were in the home have been arrested on various charges, including armed drug trafficking, possession or killing of alligators, and violation of state fish and game laws regarding the fish. Because the drugs were found within reach of two infants in the home, the couple also face child abuse charges.

Another man was also in the home with the couple when the raid took place. He was arrested on drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

Drug charges like this can have very serious consequences. Armed trafficking can lead to a lengthy prison sentence if the accused is convicted.

When drugs are found in a home, prosecutors will often charge anyone who lived in the home and had knowledge of the drugs' presence with possession. But prosecutors will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that each person had knowledge of the drugs and allowed them to be kept in the home. If one or more of the defendants can establish they were unaware the drugs were there, they may be able to get a dismissal of the charges or an acquittal at trial. Simply claiming lack of knowledge will usually not be enough; the accused will have to point to circumstances that indicate it is unlikely they knew of the drugs in the home.

Source: The Ledger, "Three Arrested After Meth, Gators Found in Lake Wales House," Stephanie Allen, Feb. 5, 2014

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