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Detention center worker fired after drug arrest

On Feb. 7, a Florida detention center worker was fired after she was taken into custody on drug charges. The 43-year-old defendant was an employee of the Monroe County Detention Center in Key West.

According to authorities, the defendant was riding in a car that was pulled over by police for having a faulty brake light. At some point during the traffic stop, an officer searched the interior of the car and allegedly uncovered crack cocaine rocks, marijuana and a notebook that listed the details of drug sales. Meanwhile, a search of the trunk yielded two law enforcement drug field test kits. It is not yet known how the kits got there.

The defendant and another occupant of the car, a 45-year-old male, were arrested and taken to a local jail for processing. They have been charged with cocaine and marijuana possession. Until she was fired, the defendant worked as a programs staff assistant at the detention center. She was in charge of organizing and administering improvement programs for the facility's inmates. These programs included educational training, substance abuse counseling, dietary requests and access to legal research.

Individuals charged with drug crimes may feel frightened and alone. As a result, they may feel that pleading guilty is their only choice. However, a criminal defense attorney could review the case and spot holes that could be used in the defendant's favor. For example, if an attorney discovers that police officers overstepped their authority during a vehicle search, any evidence seized during that search could be thrown out of court. An attorney could also work to negotiate a plea deal that allows the defendant to plead guilty to less serious charges, which could lead to a lighter sentence.

Source: NBC Miami, "Florida Keys Jail Employee Arrested on Drug Charges", Feb. 7, 2019

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