On May 5, Florida authorities arrested a 36-year-old man after they allegedly found a package of heroin in his vehicle during a traffic stop. The incident took place in Stuart.

According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, deputies observed the defendant speeding northbound on the Florida Turnpike and executed a traffic stop. A K-9 officer sniffed the car and indicated there might be drugs in the vehicle. Deputies then searched the car and allegedly found almost 6 ounces of heroin stored in a bag on the back seat.

The defendant, a resident of Miami-Dade County, was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. He was also cited for speeding. He was booked into the Martin County Jail and held on a $200,000 bond. According to media reports, he has a history of violent crime, including sexual battery of a person 12 years old or older, armed burglary and home invasion robbery. He was released from prison in 2001.

Authorities report that 39 people have overdosed in Martin County in 2018. Of those, six have died, making drug trafficking a serious issue for local law officers.

Drug charges can carry stiff penalties in Florida, including fines, prison terms and a permanent criminal record. A criminal defense attorney may scrutinize the case and work to get the charges dismissed. In some circumstances, legal counsel may be able to cast doubt on the prosecution’s evidence. In other cases, an attorney might challenge the conduct of police during their search of a defendant or a defendant’s property. Even in cases where the evidence is strong, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain that reduces the charges and penalties if a defendant agrees to plead guilty.

Source: TC Palm, “Martin County Sheriff’s deputies arrest Miami-Dade County man on heroin trafficking charge,” George Andreassi, May 6, 2018

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