If the allegations prove true, a Florida corrections officer may be looking at the other side of prison bars. After a raid, the accused guard faces multiple counts of drug possession with intent to sell, weapons possession and other charges.
Police in Hollywood were investigating a potential drug trafficking operation in the city and obtained a search warrant. After obtaining the warrant, law enforcement officials uncovered a cache of illegal substances, including heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamines. Firearms, ammo, cash and drug paraphernalia were also discovered and confiscated.
Upon investigation, a corrections officer and an alleged accomplice were both arrested. The pair is charged with drug trafficking, drug possession and weapons possession. In addition, the pair faces the charge of sale of illegal narcotics within 1,000 feet of an elementary school. In Florida and in most other states, drug trafficking near a school is a more serious charge and contains enhanced penalties upon conviction. The arrested corrections officer was placed on leave until final resolution of the charges.
A government entity may place an employee on leave during a criminal investigation. The employee normally retains rights to a review before permanent termination is handed down. In terms of criminal charges, drug trafficking contains some of the harshest sentences in criminal law. More serious violations can carry a prison term of more than ten years.
Any suspect arrested with a narcotics charge may seek representation by qualified legal counsel. The right to obtain legal counsel is a guarantee under the Sixth Amendment. There may be many possible defenses available, including obtaining a warrant with improper information and unlawful execution of a warrant. These defenses have a long history rooted in the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. Most importantly, each charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal defense attorneys might expose areas where reasonable doubt exists.