Justia Lawyer Rating for Jason M. Melton Esq.
AVVO
Martindale-Hubbell
Super Lawyers
Florida Justice Association
American Association for Justice
FACDL
Florida Legal Elite
Published on:

A Gainesville barber was one of seven men arrested in a Volusia County internet sex sting.

The 34-year-old was arrested at a RaceTrac station in Deltona over the weekend. He allegedly told Volusia County sheriff’s deputies he only came to the meeting place because he believed it was an undercover sting and he thought it would be cool to see it in action.

The man was arrested and is accused of engaging in sexually charged chats and texts with an undercover detective he believed was a 14-year-old girl.

The man was in custody Monday at the Volusia County jail in lieu of $40,000 bond. The charges against him:

  • use of a two-way communications device to commit a felony
  • attempted lewd and lascivious sexual battery on child
  • traveling to meet a child after luring the child via computer
  • use of a computer to lure a child.

There were six other men arrested in the sting, which started last Wednesday and concluded around 4 a.m. Sunday and was dubbed Operation Unlawful Attraction.

Undercover sting operations are very common these days. They start with some online chats and lead to phone calls, texts and conclude with a meetup. Police will pose as minors or the guardians of minors online and attempt to catch online “predators.”

The interesting thing about these stings is that you can be arrested even if you did not actually commit a crime. Showing up to an arranged meeting spot is enough to seal the deal and you will be carted off to jail right then and there. Once arrested, it is best to invoke your right to remain silent until you have secured legal representation. Regardless of your innocence, police will do everything they can to twist your words around to work against you in court.

Continue reading

Published on:

Three high school students were arrested on campus Thursday on Ocala and accused of possessing marijuana-laced cookies/brownies.

Two of the students are 17, and the third is 18. Each is charged with possession of marijuana more than 20 grams. One of the younger teens has an additional charge of possession with intent to sell.

According to school resource officers, there was a fight at the school which lead to the students backpack being searched. Inside the bag were Rice Krispie treats that included marijuana, a report said.

The school resource officers and school officials later recovered two other bags that police said belong to the three students. Inside the bags were Fruity Pebbles marshmallow squares and cookie/brownie squares that contained marijuana, the report said.

While possessing 20 grams of weed might not look like much, a possession charge in Florida for that amount carries harsh penalties, even for a first time offense. Amounts equaling or larger than 20 grams indicate the possibility of the intent to sell marijuana, and carries a much more significant punishment. Possession of marijuana more than 20 grams is classified as a third-degree felony under Florida law, which is punishable by five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

While drug cases involving minors are usually handled in juvenile court, the decision is ultimately left up to the judge. If a judge feels the minor exhibited especially heinous behavior, or if the juvenile has a criminal history and has been given opportunities to change in the past, they will likely be sent to adult court and processed as if they were over the age of 18. Florida leads the nation in number of juveniles sent to adult court to be processed. Because of this, you need to enlist the help of our Ocala Marijuana Drug Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton. We specialize in juvenile cases and can help your child defend their reputation.

Continue reading

Published on:

A Clearwater doctor has pleaded guilty to one count of health-care fraud and has agreed to surrender her DEA registration number, her Florida medical license and to a permanent exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid programs, according to the justice department.

The 66-year-old woman violated a Florida law that requires doctors to perform an in-person office visit and examine the patient before prescribing a Schedule II controlled substance, according to the Department of Justice.

The woman owned a pain management clinic on Druid Road East in Clearwater.

From as early as July 2011 through December 2017, she billed Medicare for face-to-face patient visits to prescribe controlled substances like oxycodone, but some of those visits didn’t take place on those dates, according to the Department of Justice. Instead, she filled the prescriptions for patients’ families who came by her office, without examining the patients.

She also submitted at least $51,500 false and fraudulent Medicare claims, according to a department of justice news release.

The case was investigated by the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit.

Being a healthcare professional means you are subject to extensive regulations and civil statutes. If you fail to comply with the current health care regulations, you can expect to be the target of a federal prosecution. Our Tampa Bay Medicare Fraud Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you fight allegations of health care fraud, including allegations relating to:

  • Medicare fraud
  • Medicaid fraud
  • Billing fraud
  • Kickbacks and Gratuities
  • Bribes
  • Conflicts of interest

Prosecutors also file charges against health care providers who allegedly lie about the number of patients they treat or the types of services they perform. We are ready and able to defend doctors and other healthcare professionals who find themselves wrapped up in such inquiries.

Continue reading

Published on:

An undercover drug sting that began in March led to the arrest of a St. Augustine man accused of running a drug house on Grove Avenue, according to reports.

The 29-year-old was arrested Tuesday on a warrant charging him with selling heroin from his home, which is within 1,000 feet from Ketterlinus Elementary School.

The man was booked late Tuesday morning into the St. Johns County jail on multiple drug charges. His bond was set at $300,000.

The case against the man began in March when detectives said they used an undercover informant to purchase heroin multiple times from the man.

Investigators claim they have audio recording of the alleged drug deals that took place inside his home, which they believe the man intentionally used and maintained to sell heroin.

The case remains under investigation, which means there could be more charges filed and possibly more arrests.

Heroin laws in Florida are extremely serious. Possession of any amount of heroin in Florida is classified as a felony, it does not matter how large or small the amount is. If you have been arrested for selling heroin, you need to call our Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as we are familiar with federal and state drug laws. You will need a lawyer who can help you understand Florida’s heroin laws and represent your best interests in court.

Possessing 10 grams or less of heroin can land you in prison for up to five years. Possessing 10 grams or more can land you in prison for up to 30 years. Being accused of possessing or selling heroin near a school carries enhanced penalties. You do not want to mess around with these charges.

Continue reading

Published on:

A Florida man is facing sex crimes charges after he was accused of a molesting a Flagler County teenager in January.

Flagler County deputies were apparently contacted Jan. 4 about a sex offense in Palm Coast. They investigated and claim the man allegedly molested a child between 12-18 years old.

After the allegations were reported to authorities, the accused left the area and had been living in Cape Coral until he was arrested earlier this month on charges of sexual battery and lewd/lascivious molestation.

He was returned to Flagler County and is being held on $150,000 bond.

Sex crimes charges, like sexual battery and molestation, are very serious because they carry extremely harsh consequences if convicted. You could be facing years in prison and lifetime registration as a sexual offender. Due to the severity of these charges, you must act fast to protect yourself. You need to enlist the help of a Flagler County Criminal Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible. We specialize in sex crimes defense and can put our knowledge to work for you.

While every case is different, we will investigate every shred of evidence to find any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf. We cannot guarantee to get your charges dismissed or reduced, but we will fight aggressively to obtain an outcome that you can live with.

Continue reading

Published on:

A Fort Lauderdale doctor has been sentenced to 19 years and seven months in federal prison for distributing prescription painkillers.

The man was sentenced Monday following a conviction in June of dispensing oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical reason.

Investigators claim the 64-year-old man ran a cash-only pain management clinic in Indialantic from 2009 to 2011. He apparently charged $200-$400 per visit, where patients received prescriptions for high doses of oxycodone with little to no medical evaluation. Investigators believe that many of the people who received the prescriptions then abused the opioid painkillers themselves or sold the pills.

Oxycodone is the most abused prescription drug in Florida and across the country. A prescription drug is defined as any substance which under Federal or State law requires dispensing by prescription or order of a licensed physician, veterinarian or dentist. A doctor could easily face very serious criminal drug charges if law enforcement officers believe that their clinic is merely a cover for a fraudulent prescription drug distribution operation.

Continue reading

Published on:

A former Jacksonville Jaguars player faces insurance fraud charges linked to dental treatment authorities said he never received.

Marlon McCree is accused of filing nearly $78,000 in bogus insurance claims, according to reports. McCree allegedly received $31,000 in reimbursements as a result.

McCree, 41, turned himself into the Nassau County jail Saturday morning, where he remains in custody on five counts of filing false insurance claims, jail logs show.

The former NFL defensive back and one-time Jaguars assistant defensive backs coach faces up to 30 years in prison and $30,000 in fines if convicted of all charges.

The state Bureau of Insurance Fraud was tipped off in April by Cigna, which accused McCree of submitting bogus paperwork to the Gene Upshaw Health Reimbursement Account, or HRA.

An investigation found McCree falsified invoices that listed All Smiles Dental, Patronis said. The Jacksonville dental practice had no records indicating he was a patient there.

Insurance fraud happens when a policyholder tried to collect insurance payments that they would not have otherwise been entitled to receive. Make no mistake, this is a very serious crime that carries very serious consequences if convicted. You could be looking at hefty fines, restitution and jail time. If you have been accused of insurance fraud, it is important that you have an experienced Florida Criminal Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton by your side from the start.

Continue reading

Published on:

A Key West firefighter was caught with cocaine at work, according to police.

The 26-year-old was arrested Friday on a felony charge of cocaine possession after a police dog alerted officers to a locker inside a bedroom where the man was staying.

The K-9 also sniffed out the man’s truck where police claim they found an unspecified amount of cocaine.

Possession of any amount of cocaine is a felony.

The man was suspended until an investigation is complete.

The arrest came after Key West police and Homeland Security agents did a sweep of all three Key West fire stations at the same time Friday. They were acting on a tip about narcotics received by the Key West police’s special investigations unit.

Possession of a controlled substance, like cocaine, is a serious crime in Florida. This felony offense carries significant penalties if you are convicted. Simply being accused of possessing cocaine does not mean you are automatically guilty. There can be several potential defense strategies available in a drug possession case. Our South Florida Drug Possession Lawyers can investigate your case to determine whether the search that uncovered the drugs was legal. We will examine the warrant that was issued to authorize the search, if one even existed, and we will make sure every move made by authorities was legal. If they overstepped in any way, we will work towards getting any evidence illegally obtained thrown out.

Continue reading

Published on:

A former Hillsborough County teacher arrested last week on charges of probation violation has had the charge dismissed.

The 39-year-old was in court Tuesday for a hearing that she violated her probation for taking pictures with a friend’s 12-year-old daughter in a Clearwater Beach restaurant.

A judge dismissed the violation Tuesday, and she’ll be released Wednesday.

The woman made news in the Bay area in 2010 when she pleaded guilty to having sex with teen students.

She served six years in prison on lewd and lascivious battery charges and was released in 2016.

The woman reported the recent incident to her probation officer. Her probation prohibits any contact with minors unless approved by the court. She was arrested July 19.

The terms of probation can be very restrictive. You are expected to live your normal life while following strict procedures. You cannot travel too far from a fixed point, you must report regularly to a probation officer, and you must not be arrested for or charged with any further offenses, among other things. Failure to comply with any of these areas could be considered a probation violation.

If you have recently been charged with violating the terms of your probation, you face serious criminal consequences. Whether done so intentionally or by accident, you are likely to face harsh consequences, including extended probation, hefty fines, or sentenced to serve the remaining term of your original imprisonment. This all depends on individual circumstances – no two cases are the same.

Continue reading

Published on:

Pinellas County deputies have been on a mission to arrest contractors accused of operating without licenses.

In a sting conducted from Saturday through early Monday called “Operation Flush Out,” 30 people were arrested after pitching electrical, drywall and other construction services to undercover detectives.

The three-day sting produced a combination of at least 60 felony and misdemeanor charges against people offering to work without a license or insurance, the sheriff said.

It is the sheriff’s third sting since October to combat the hundreds of unlicensed contractors who rip off homeowners and leave properties in shambles.

Contracting without a license carries a misdemeanor for first-time offenses and a felony the second time. Other violations include felony charge of workers’ compensation fraud. Florida law requires contractors in the construction industry to carry the insurance. Without it, violators can lower prices and steal business from licensed and insured contractors.

In the state of Florida, unlicensed contracting is usually charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 1 year in jail or 12 months of probation, and a $1,000.00 fine. If the accused has been previously convicted of contracting without a license, the offense may be charged as third-degree felony, which carries penalties of up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation and a $5,000 fine.

When it comes to charges of contracting without a license, it is vital to have a criminal defense attorney on your side to identify possible defenses and to minimize potential penalties. However, many people accused of this charge opt to plead guilty to the charge in order to avoid the expense of an attorney. By doing this, they obtain permanent criminal records, risk their chances of obtaining a license in the future and get slapped with paying out restitution to alleged victims that claim they performed substandard work or used sub-standard materials and caused a loss.

Continue reading

Contact Information