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South Florida TSA agent accused of drug crimes

A South Florida woman who works for the Transportation Security Administration has been detained on charges related to drug manufacturing and trafficking. A police search of the woman's home, located in Homestead, allegedly led to the discovery of 39 grams of marijuana and 111 grams of cocaine. Investigators also claimed to have discovered equipment used to package and process cocaine into crack cocaine including beakers and scales.

Police further reported the discovery of a loaded Beretta PX4 pistol in a closet in the woman's home; officers say that the woman's four children would have had easy access to the gun. The arrest affidavit in the case states that the children had been present at the time of drug transactions. The woman has been charged with four counts of child neglect, marijuana possession and cocaine trafficking. She was taken into custody on June 22 without bond.

The woman in this case could face extremely harsh penalties under Florida law if she was convicted for drug crimes. Cocaine trafficking is a felony in the first degree in Florida, punishable by a fine of $50,000 and a prison term of up to 30 years with a mandatory minimum of three years. The woman has already suffered professional consequences; the TSA has stated that she is currently on administrative leave and will be terminated.

A criminal defense attorney in a case like this one may question the legality of the search performed in the woman's home in an effort to render the evidence found in the course of the search inadmissible at trial. An attorney might also seek to secure a plea bargain for the defendant, potentially allowing the defendant to face lesser charges or minimal penalties.

Source: Florida Legislature, "The 2013 Florida Statutes"

Source: NBC South Florida, "South Florida Mother Arrested on Cocaine Trafficking Charges", June 22, 2014

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