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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Law Blog

School threats result in arrests of Florida teens

Multiple cases of teenage boys heading to court after threatening their schools have occurred throughout Florida. A 13-year-old from Silver Trail Middle School in Fort Lauderdale now faces a second-degree felony charge after mentioning in class on Oct. 4 that he wished he could shoot up his school. That statement caused his teacher to report him to the police officer on duty at the school.

Police also arrested another 14-year-old boy who attended Franklin Academy. Authorities had been alerted to his social media posts that showed him with another teenager posing with an airsoft gun. They wore tactical gear and aimed a threatening message at the school.

Florida drug sting leads to 32 arrests

In late September and early October, Lee County authorities arrested 32 people for allegedly taking part in various drug crimes. The crimes reportedly involved opioids and other illicit substances.

According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, the arrests were the culmination of a two-month investigation called Operation Fall Frenzy. In addition to the arrests, large amounts of illegal drugs were recovered during the operation, including cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine. The investigation is not yet complete. At least 12 other arrest warrants have been issued for individuals accused of dealing drugs in Lee County.

Which domestic violence defense strategy is best?

A charge of domestic violence is serious, as a conviction can impact your life in many ways. Not only can it lead to time in prison, but it can also alter your personal and professional life.

Regardless of the details surrounding your domestic violence case, it's imperative to understand the many types of defense strategies available to you. Choosing the right one can go a long way in helping you avoid a conviction.

Sheriff deputy's conduct leads to release of inmates.

Due to the alleged misconduct of a sheriff's in a neighboring county of Tallahassee, Florida, a number of convicted prisoners have been set free. The purported actions of the officer in question have led to an investigation by both state and county law enforcement agencies. The investigation could lead to the dismissal of current charges against other defendants as well as the release of further prisoners.

The investigation stems from allegations that the deputy 'planted" evidence during traffic stops. The issue began during the review of the officer's body cam footage during a stop. According to those who witnessed the tape, is appears the officer held a small package in his left hand. Later, he claimed to have discovered a similar looking package containing methamphetamines while searching the suspect's vehicle.

Florida man caught with cocaine after traffic stop

A 47-year-old man landed in jail for cocaine possession after a deputy from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office pulled over his car for allegedly not using a turn signal during a lane change. The driver stopped his vehicle on the Overseas Highway close to Ocean Bay Drive in Key Largo. A spokesman for the sheriff's office said that the man argued with the deputy and demanded to speak to the deputy's supervisor because there was no reason to be pulled over.

The deputy reported that the driver rolled up his window and appeared to be getting something out from under the car seat. The deputy drew his Taser and opened the driver door. The man eluded the deputy's attempt to detain him and fled into a wooded area.

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.

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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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