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A 33-year-old woman was sentenced to eight years in federal prison Thursday after she and three other women hid cocaine in their bras and underwear upon returning to Port Canaveral from Jamaica earlier this year, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

The D.C. woman was sentenced to eight years and one month for conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States. She pleaded guilty on July 20, 2016.

According to court documents, the woman, as well as three others, traveled to Jamaica in May 2016 on board a commercial cruise ship.

When the four women arrived in Jamaica, the D.C. woman allegedly coordinated a meeting with someone who provided the group with more than six kilograms of cocaine concealed in bras and underwear. The D.C. woman apparently paid the person for the cocaine, and the four women returned to the cruise ship with the cocaine concealed under their dresses in the bras and underwear they were provided, according to documents.

The women apparently hid the cocaine in the cabin they shared for the remainder of the cruise.

When the cruise ship returned to Port Canaveral, the D.C. woman and the three other women departed the ship and entered the customs area of the port with the cocaine concealed in their bras and underwear.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers identified the cocaine during screenings and searches of the women.

The other three women were sentenced as well. One was sentenced to two years in prison, one was sentenced to one year and 10 months and one was sentenced to two years and six months.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security investigators.

Being charged with drug importation in the state of Florida is a very tough thing to deal with, especially if you do not have qualified legal representation. By hiring a knowledgeable drug crimes defense lawyer, you take an important step in achieving the most successful outcome for your particular case. Our Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you through this difficult time by providing you with legal advice and personal attention so that we can work towards a positive resolution to your case.

Drug importation can be charged when drugs and controlled substances are brought into Florida across state lines, both from out-of-country or from another state.  Some commonly imported drugs and controlled substances in Florida are:  

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Crystal Meth
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin

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A Jacksonville woman is accused of trying to smuggle 1 kilogram of the drug MDMA, also known by its street name “Molly,” into the state, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The 32-year-old woman was arrested Monday on a charge of smuggling methamphetamine into the state.

According to the arrest report, a package from China addressed to a CubeSmart storage facility on Western Way was chosen for examination Monday by border enforcement. Homeland Security special agents opened the package, and allegedly found 1 kilogram — a little over 2 pounds — of MDMA, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office said it and Homeland Security special agents attempted to deliver the package to the CubeSmart, an air-conditioned self storage facility that also accepts delivery of packages for its lessees.

The package was left at 6 p.m. Monday in the unit to which it was addressed, according to police.

About 30 minutes later, police claim the woman showed up, looked around the area, walked into the unit and picked up the package.

She was then stopped by special agents and arrested, according to reports.

After her arrest, police allege the woman told them she met a man on a dating website and he asked her to start picking up packages for him at the CubeSmart. She said she was never paid for picking up the packages.

The woman is being held at the Duval County Jail on a $25,000 bond.

No matter the specific controlled substance and quantity involved, or whether you were arrested by local police or federal agents, any drug smuggling or trafficking accusation is extremely serious. You could face decades behind bars and other serious consequences, so your choice of a criminal defense attorney is critical to the outcome of your case.

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Legoland has been evacuated Thursday afternoon due to a bomb threat.

Winter Haven Police, along with Legoland Florida security, are investigating the threat at the Winter Haven theme park.

A bomb threat was made at the property and an evacuation was started at both the theme park and hotel for the safety and security of the guests and employees.

Nor further information is available at this point.

Making a bomb threat is no small prank. Recently, there have been a number of bomb threats directed toward schools and universities. Because of this, police are utilizing the latest technology to catch anyone making threats. If you are facing charges related to a bomb threat, you need a criminal defense attorney on your side to help fight these charges.

What may have started out as a prank can turn into an extremely serious situation once a threat is made. If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge for making a bomb threat, our Polk County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. While we do not know the full details of this case, if the threats prove to be false, criminal charges can still be applied. There are possible defenses against a false bomb threat charge, and we would be happy to discuss the specific facts and circumstances regarding your case and help you decide how to proceed.

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Creepy clowns have been making headlines across the nation, and Florida is no stranger to this creepy craze.

Pasco County deputies are on alert for a creepy clown.

Authorities believe the clowns have been spotted in Hudson, Port Richey, and Holiday. The county’s school district sent out a robo call and a post on Facebook Friday telling parents there was a threat posted on Facebook and Twitter about the creepy clowns showing up at schools.

Pinellas County schools had two similar incidents Friday where a clown was spotted outside schools. Pinellas County, however, isn’t considering this as a credible threat.

In Pasco County, authorities said the sightings are quite sinister. In one instance, investigators said someone dressed as a clown and friended young people on Facebook, then asked one kid to meet in the park after dark.

There have been other cases nationwide involving people dressed as clowns, some of them scarier than others. If you encounter one, especially near a school, you’re asked to contact authorities.

While some people find this clown craze funny, at the end of the day, unless you are headed to your job at the circus/fair/birthday party, do not dress up as a clown. Even if you think it is fun and you have zero intentions of hurting anyone, police have made it very clear they will arrest and charge people.

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A Manatee County Schools employee accused of impregnating a 14-year-old student made his first appearance in court on Friday.

The 31-year-old had been working at a middle school as a graduation enhancement technician since 2014. He also coaches the junior varsity basketball team at an area high school.

The school district claims the man has resigned from his position and has agreed not to look for any other jobs in the district.

Bond for the man was set at $55,000.

Being accused of a sex crime is terrifying. The state of Florida has some of the toughest penalties for those convicted of sex crimes, requiring mandatory registration as a sex offender, possibly for life. Anyone can access your name, picture and other information from the state’s website with just a click of a button. Being a registered sex offender is something that will follow you around long after you have served your prison sentence and fulfilled any other requirements.

Most sex crimes cases are quite fact-specific and must be dealt with accordingly. These cases are fueled by emotions, which can complicate the true facts of the case. Because of this, every shred of evidence must be investigated thoroughly to figure out any inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case.

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A Walt Disney World worker was arrested Monday afternoon on charges he tried to meet a supposed minor for sex, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

The 22-year-old allegedly communicated online with what he thought was an aunt on Craigslist for three days last week about having sexual relations with her 13-year-old niece, according to reports.

Reports indicate that the “aunt” was an undercover detective working with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children operation.

In one of the communications, the Ocoee man allegedly said that he can “teach” the girl about sexual relations.

When the man arrived at an agreed location to meet the “aunt” and “girl” Monday afternoon, he was arrested. He told police that he only came to the meeting place to report the “aunt,” according to reports.

The man “has been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the charges,” according to a Disney spokesperson.

Traveling to meet a minor for sex is a very serious charge that is classified as a second-degree felony punishable by a prison term of up to 15 years and fines of up to $10,000. If convicted, you could be looking at a minimum of 21 months behind bars, not to mention mandatory registration as a sex offender.

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A man arrested after a fatal crash New Year’s Day in 2013, which killed one passenger and seriously injured two others, was found guilty Tuesday of multiple charges.

The 23-year-old man was found guilty of DUI manslaughter and two counts of driving under the influence with serious bodily injury.

The man was driving down Beach Boulevard with three other people in the vehicle after leaving a New Year’s Eve party when he lost control of the vehicle while attempting to make a right turn.

He struck a metal pole, which fatally injured a 20-year-old passenger. The other two passengers suffered serious injuries, but recovered. The investigation revealed that the man was intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level of .178.

He faces up to 25 years in prison. He will be sentenced the week of Oct. 31.

No matter what the situation, a car accident that results in a death is always a tragedy. Adding a DUI charge to this just makes the situation that much worse. Knowing what to do after you have been charged with DUI manslaughter can be confusing if you do not seek the legal help you need. It is crucial that you understand the charges you are up against, the potential consequences, and your viable defenses.

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A Bradenton woman is in jail after police claim she sent a bomb threat to her neighbor last weekend, resulting in the entire block being evacuated.  

The 50-year-old woman made her first appearance in court on Monday.

Investigators believe that on Saturday night, the woman sent a text message to her neighbor saying there was a bomb in the backyard that would go off in one hour.

Her neighbor said the bomb threat “caused significant amount of stress” for himself, his wife and their children.

Police evacuated the 1600 block of the neighborhood.

The bomb threat was not real.

The judge ordered the woman to stay 500 feet away from her neighbor’s house, even if it means she has to find a new home. Her bond is set at $25,000.

Police are still investigating the motive for the threat.

There is nothing funny about issuing a fake bomb threat. Law enforcement takes threats of this nature very seriously as it can easily unleash panic among the public. While it might seem that bomb threats are nothing more than a silly prank, the truth of the matter is that these threats must be taken seriously as they can lead to a lot of damage.

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A St. Petersburg police officer has been charged with domestic battery.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the man was arrested Monday following an altercation with his live-in girlfriend.

The alleged incident occurred at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. The man was arrested Sunday.

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Boynton Beach police arrested 15 people in their month-long undercover drug sting ‘Operation Dirty Dope’ aimed at catching suspected drug dealers across Boynton Beach.

With 247 overdoses since the start of the year, 19 of which turned fatal, Boynton Beach police launched this sting operation in an attempt to try to slow the pace of the drug trade. Police believe heroin was involved in more than two-thirds of the cases. Police also found heroin at 11 of the fatal overdoses, they said.

Of those arrested, 11 are accused of selling heroin and cocaine to undercover officers and confidential informants, according to police. The drug deals happened across Boynton Beach in Publix parking lots, a park, an apartment complex and other places, according to arrest reports.

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