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Florida cop, girlfriend face drug charges

In Florida, an arrest on drug trafficking charges can have very serious consequences. While simple possession is usually charged as a misdemeanor, distribution of illegal drugs will generally result in a felony charge. And even a misdemeanor possession charge can have life-changing consequences, as a Sunrise, Florida police officer recently found out. He was placed on administrative leave after being arrested for possession of marijuana, and ultimately resigned from the job he had held for six years. The officer's live-in girlfriend, 21, faces felony charges of drug distribution.

The couple came under suspicion when an informant told police they were selling weed from their home in Sunrise. Investigators sent the informant to the home to buy a $20 bag of pot. The informant, wearing an audio wire, spoke with the officer and then went into the home with the girlfriend. The informant claims to have seen plastic bags of pot on the kitchen table.

Police then arranged a second buy, using the same informant, this time with a video and audio device. The informant allegedly bought a $40 bag of pot from the girlfriend. Police then obtained a search warrant and searched the home. They claim they found marijuana, a scale and other drug paraphernalia. Police arrested the couple and allege that they have made a taped confession. The police officer was charged with misdemeanor possession; his girlfriend faces two felony charges.

Those facing drug charges in Florida need an aggressive defense lawyer who will challenge every aspect of the state's case. In cases where the state's evidence is strong, it is usually still possible to enter into a plea agreement involving a lesser charge. In many cases the accused can avoid prison time by going into a drug diversion program. An experienced criminal defense attorney can counsel the accused person and help choose the best strategy to fight the charges.

Source: Sun-Sentinel, "Sunrise cop resigns following drug investigation," Ihosvani Rodriguez, Sept. 30, 2013

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