Two Florida lawmakers want to overhaul the state's legal system so that it shows more leniency to certain drug offenders. The moves are being advertised as a way to save taxpayers money.
The pace of search and seizure operations across the Sunshine State continued in November with the arrest of two men and a woman in Fort Walton Beach. According to a press release issued by the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, a search warrant executed by detectives from the anti-narcotics squad resulted in multiple drug charges, confiscation, arrests and a good deal of intelligence gathering.
Florida fans of Rose McGowan may be interested to learn that the actress was taken into custody on Nov. 14 on felony charges for possession of a controlled substance. She reportedly turned herself in to authorities in Virginia where she was booked and released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
On Nov. 7, a student was taken into police custody in connection with an investigation that is ongoing at Florida State University in Tallahassee. According to media sources, the 22-year-old man is being held at the Leon County Detention Facility on suspicion of selling cocaine. Preliminary reports indicate that bond has been set at $25,000.
A 33-year-old Florida man says that a police mistake has cost him both his job and his reputation. The Pensacola resident was charged with drug possession on Oct. 6 after a roadside drug testing kit used by police indicated that a white powder found in his car was cocaine, but subsequent laboratory testing conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement discovered no trace of the drug.
On Oct. 17, a Florida City woman was taken into custody on suspicion of selling cocaine. The incident took place at around 6:15 p.m. in Monroe County.
Florida residents may be interested to learn about a case where a 64-year old man received a monetary settlement after police officers in Orlando mistakenly identified Krispy Kreme donut glaze for methamphetamine. The situation unfolded in late 2015 during a routine traffic stop that has put Florida taxpayers on the hook for $37,500, excluding court costs.
The most common drug offenses leading to arrests in Florida and across the United States are related to possession of controlled substances. According to the 2016 Uniform Crime Report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the latest law enforcement trend in the U.S. involves arresting individuals for simple possession. Nearly 85 percent of the nearly 1.6 million drug arrests conducted by state and federal agencies in 2016 were for drug possession charges, and the vast majority of these arrests did not involve any violence.
The Florida Highway Patrol has reported that a 33-year-old Mississippi man is facing a raft of charges including drug possession and dealing in stolen property after allegedly fleeing the scene of an accident on the morning of Sept. 30. Police say that the man's vehicle struck a wooden box in the parking lot of Santa Rosa County convenience store pushing it through the store's window. The incident took place on Navarre Parkway in Navarre at approximately 6:00 a.m.
On Sept. 14, law enforcement officials in Florida recovered more than 360 grams of methamphetamine following an alleged burglary involving a tire. Police say that the confiscated meth has a street value of more than $14,000 and represents the largest drug bust ever achieved by the Fort Myers Police Department. Two men were taken into custody in Lee County in connection with the incident. Trials for both men are scheduled to begin on Oct. 16.