A 25-year-old woman apparently living in a van in Key West ended up being charged with multiple drug offenses after speaking with officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. According to the officers, they approached her at Marathon FWC station located on mile marker 48 to discuss her boat that had been damaged in Hurricane Irma. They informed her that the state would dispose of the vessel at no cost, but then they chose to investigate the odor of marijuana coming from her van.

With support from Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies, the officers reported finding drugs and paraphernalia. They recorded the presence of 2 ounces of MDMA, 22.8 grams of cocaine, multiple types of prescription pills, 5.5 grams of marijuana and 2.7 grams of hash oil along with a scale and baggies.

Although authorities did not immediately arrest her, they later obtained a warrant. She was first held at the Broward County jail and then transferred to Stock Island jail. The court set her bond at $170,000. Her criminal charges included felonies for drug possession and intent to sell drugs.

When a person is arrested for drug crimes, a criminal defense attorney could explain the meaning of the charges and the severity of associated penalties. With legal representation, a person might gain an understanding of the strength of the evidence before entering a plea. An attorney might also identify possible strategies, especially if authorities violated the Fourth Amendment when searching or seizing property. This could result in the exclusion of evidence and potentially the withdrawal of the charges.

Source: FL Keys News, “She turns over Irma-damaged boat to FWC, then drugs found while she signs the papers land her in jail“, Katie Atkins, Feb. 27, 2018

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