Recently, a total of 12 law enforcement agencies arrested 301 people in Broward County over a span of two days. Readers likely know that police forces sometimes make widespread crackdown efforts to lock people up. However, just because the authorities are on a mission to search, seize and arrest does not mean that the rights of the accused can be violated.

Typically, news reports will tell the story of an anti-crime operation from the perspective of the police. This most recent campaign, dubbed “Operation March Mayhem,” was largely intended to make drug charges and prostitution arrests.

One news report stated that the large-scale police effort was also meant to target child pornographers, but there is no mention in the report that the police actually seized such material.

According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the police confiscated more than $50,000 from the parties who were arrested. The police also claimed to have seized hundreds of pain pills, seven firearms, 158 marijuana plants, 150 pounds of marijuana and over a thousand grams of cocaine. How these amounts were distributed among the 301 accused individuals was not indicated in a news report.

Two days is a short period of time to arrest so many people, and police too often make mistakes that a meaningful criminal defense will note in court. Being charged with a crime is not the same thing as being convicted of that crime, and any individual who is facing criminal charges has certain rights that must be protected under Florida and federal laws.

Source: Huffington Post, “Operation March Mayhem: Broward Agencies Arrest 301 And Seize Marijuana, Cocaine, Oxycodone, And Guns,” March 14, 2012

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