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A 75-year-old Citrus County man has been arrested and charged with selling significant amounts of marijuana.

According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, a search warrant served at a Floral City residence Tuesday morning resulted in this arrest.

During the execution of the search warrant, detectives allegedly located 464 grams of cannabis, 20-gauge shotgun ammunition, and over $25,500 in cash inside of the man’s bedroom. Detectives apparently searched a large wooden barn located on the property and discovered 711 grams of cannabis and various pieces of distribution equipment – to include a vacuum seal machine, a large digital scale, and various sized plastic baggies used to package drugs.

Detectives claim they learned that the cash located in the man’s room was obtained from the illicit sale of cannabis, so they seized the currency for forfeiture.

Due to the large sum of cash and various evidence collected, detectives estimated that the man was selling pounds of illegal marijuana on a daily basis.

He was arrested and charged with Possession of Cannabis with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon, and Possession of Paraphernalia.

The state of Florida has some of the toughest penalties on drug use and possession, including marijuana. Even though marijuana penalties are certainly less severe than many other types of drugs, you can still face hefty fines and serious jail time for the possession, use and sale of marijuana.

Possessing 20g to 25 lbs of marijuana carries a felony charge with penalties of a maximum fine of $5000 and 5 years in jail. Possessing between 25-2000 lbs is also a felony, with penalties of a maximum fine of $25,000 and 3-15 years in jail. If you are charged with selling and distributing marijuana, your penalty will also depend on the amounts being sold.

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An ex-Florida Polytechnic police officer has been arrested on charges of sexual battery, extortion, and aggravated stalking of a family member.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that a woman first went to deputies about the man on Wednesday and said the allegations had been happening since the fall of 2012.

Deputies claim the woman provided hundreds of text messages from the past six months that showed the man trying to control, intimidate, isolate, and humiliate her.

In an arrest affidavit, deputies said the man allegedly used “force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury” to sexually batter the woman, and he blackmailed her into having sex with him by threatening to publicly share nude photos of her, deputies said.

The man had apparently worked for Florida Polytech University for two years and resigned when he was arrested, deputies said.

A sex crime combined with an extortion offense can result in serious criminal consequences. In extortion cases, a person is accused of forcing another person to do something against their will, like sending money or giving up property. Similarly, sextortion refers to blackmailing or threatening someone for explicit photos, money and even sex.

Sextortion is a second-degree felony in the state of Florida, which could translate to 15 years in prison. When combined with a sex crime, like sexual battery, the consequences are drastically enhanced. You must fight to protect yourself from these serious allegations, as they will not just go away on their own. Our Florida Sextortion Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can fight for your rights and do everything we can to achieve the best possible outcome for your particular situation.

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A former Florida lawmaker has been arrested and charged with abusing his wife of 10 years, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Former Rep. Baxter Troutman, 52, was arrested early Saturday after his wife made multiple domestic violence accusations against him.

According to authorities, the woman said she and her husband had argued about her buying a home in Lakeland in her own name on Wednesday.

She told deputies she left the home for several hours and returned at about 9:30 p.m. to sleep. She told authorities that her husband came into her bedroom at about 4:30 a.m. and pulled the comforter off her bed.

The two had slept in separate bedrooms for several years, she told deputies.

The man apparently came into her room and pulled the comforter off her bed and started shouting expletives at her and then began to play loud heavy metal music on all he TVs around the house.

She told deputies that when she tried to go back to sleep, her husband came into the room again and yanked the comforter off the bed, causing her to fall to the floor. According to the report, he then grabbed her by the chin, pulled her head back and said, “B— get up.”

The woman told deputies she used her cell phone to record how loud the music was playing on the TVs. She then went back to her room and used a chair to block the door.

Deputies said that she also told them previous instances of domestic violence. She told authorities that in 2018, her husband hit her in the face when she refused to give him the passcode to her cell phone. According to the Sheriff’s Office report, she provided pictures of the injuries.

She also claimed her husband broke her pinky finger during an argument in 2015. She told deputies she had a neighbor take her to a hospital for treatment.

Baxter Troutman was charged with one count of aggravated battery and two counts of battery. He previously served as state representative for District 66.

If you have been arrested and charged with aggravated battery, even if you have been wrongfully accused, you need to obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Many individuals charged with domestic violence crimes do not seek the legal representation they truly need in order to successfully prove their innocence. When facing a serious crime like aggravated battery, there is no substitute for aggressive and powerful legal representation that may ultimately keep you out of jail.

Given that serious bodily harm may result from aggravated battery, Florida prosecutors are especially tough on the accused. The consequences of a conviction can include a potentially long prison sentence hefty fines. Our Florida Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton know what to expect from the prosecution and can provide you with honest legal representation, making sure you are fully aware of the potential consequences you are facing and your options for overcoming your charges.

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Boynton Beach police went undercover Monday, hit a host of “hot spots” and jailed nearly a dozen in Operation Buy Bye.

Confidential informants apparently facilitated many of the hookups. The shopping lists included heroin, fentanyl, ecstasy and crack cocaine. The buys went down in parking lots at Walmart, Chevron and Shell stations and Betty Thomas Park, according to arrest reports.

Narcotics investigators arrested 11 suspects throughout the day Monday. More arrests are expected, according to the Boynton Beach Police Department.

In all, 10 men and one woman were arrested. The youngest was 19; the oldest 47. Sales were largely in small amounts, $20 and $40, reports show.

Being arrested by an undercover officer in a drug bust might make you think there is no way of beating the charges against you. However, all evidence police obtain in these undercover operations must be obtained legally. Many drug busts involve illegal tactics, and if evidence is obtained illegally, it can be deemed inadmissible at trial. Due to the complexities of undercover drug stings, it is best to consult with a South Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton before making any statements to police.

The point of undercover drug operations is to make numerous arrests, even if that means violating suspects rights. We can make sure your rights weren’t violated during any stage of the investigation or arrest. If we find your rights were compromised in any way, we could get the charges against you dropped.

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A lieutenant with the Haines City Fire Department faces a charge of battery domestic violence.

The 32-year-old was taken into custody Friday evening, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

A news release said the man “battered his girlfriend” after the two began arguing.

The woman allegedly had visible bruises on her arm, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The man is accused of holding the woman against a front door and punching her in the arm.

He was booked into the Polk County Jail.

The state of Florida is tough when it comes to charges of domestic violence. When police are called to a location where allegations of domestic violence have been made, officers are required to make an arrest if there is any sign of injury. Moreover, the state will not drop the charges just because the alleged victim changes their story.

The consequences of a domestic violence conviction are severe. You can face fines and jail time, and a record of domestic abuse can affect child custody and visitation decisions as well as impact your immigration status. These crimes cannot be expunged from your record.

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A former Pasco County School District transportation manager was sentenced to life in prison in federal court for sexually assaulting children and producing and distributing child pornography.

In August, the 35-year-old New Port Richey man pleaded guilty to enticing and coercing a minor to engage in sexual activity and to possessing child porn.

After statements were delivered and counsel was heard, the judge delivered the man’s sentence.

Court documents described the man as having a deeply embedded preference for sex with children that “descended to depths of depravity that are hard to fathom and that he’s a constant threat to society.”

The man began his career with Pasco schools as a school bus driver and worked his way up to the district’s transportation manager.

According to the plea agreement, beginning in 2014, the man, while employed by Pasco County Schools as a transportation manager, knowingly enticed a 15-year-old student from a local school to engage in sex acts.

Officials said the man had met the teen on the app Grindr.

The man engaged in a sexual relationship with the student that went on for several years. Officials said during that time, the man invited the student to view his collection of child pornography, invited him to watch live productions of child porn on the internet, and invited him to engage in group sex with other adults and minors.

The man also produced and distributed child porn of the student, according to the plea agreement.

Investigators said the man also had a close relationship with a Pasco County assistant principal. Officials said the two men would share child porn.

The government will review the man’s case in a few years under what’s called a Rule 35. That could determine whether he may be eligible for a parole at some point in the future.

After a person has been sentenced, there are several circumstances that could reduce the sentence. A direct appeal can be filed or the prosecution can file a motion pursuant to Rule 35(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to reward the person for providing substantial assistance in investigating or prosecuting another person.

Only the prosecution may file a Rule 35 motion, however, a criminal defense lawyer’s role in the process is substantial. Our Pasco County Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help make sure your are rewarded properly for the assistance provided. Our goal is to interest the prosecution in what you have to offer, ensure that the cooperation goes smoothly, and that the desired outcome is mutually achieved.  

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Authorities have arrested a Jacksonville elementary school principal accused of trying to defraud his insurance carrier in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

According to a statement provided through a spokesperson, Duval County Public Schools has assigned the man to an off-campus role until the district’s investigation is complete.

The man allegedly sought $16,000 in reimbursements from State Farm for home repairs linked to damage from Irma, but two invoices he filed were apparently altered and a third was completely made up.

Investigators determined that invoices submitted for repairs to his roof, A/C and entertainment system were not related to Irma. According to the man’s arrest report, they were from 2013.

The man turned himself in to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office to face unspecified charges Nov. 16. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.

The consequences of an insurance fraud investigation go beyond just having your claim denied – you could end up in prison. Our Florida White Collar Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton will work to aggressively protect your interests when facing insurance fraud allegations.

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A member of the San Francisco 49ers was arrested Saturday night in Tampa and charged with domestic violence.

Reuben Foster, a 24-year-old linebacker out of Alabama, was taken into custody just after 9 p.m. at the team hotel, the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 2900 Bayport Drive.

The 49ers played the Buccaneers Sunday at 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. The team announced Sunday morning that it would be releasing Foster.

According to the arrest report, Foster and a 28-year-old woman were involved in a verbal altercation.  

The alleged victim, who was Foster’s former girlfriend, stated that during the altercation Foster slapped her phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area, and slapped her with an open hand on the right side of her face.  

Officers allegedly observed a one inch scratch on the woman’s left collar bone.

During the investigation officers learned that Foster and the victim lived together in the past and they were involved in an on-again-off-again relationship over the past three years.

Foster was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail. Foster was given a $2,000 bond and no contact order with his ex-girlfriend.

The 49ers’ 1st-round draft pick last year, Foster was charged with domestic violence after an arrest last year and was suspended for two games earlier this season due to those charges.

Domestic violence is classified as any violentaction that is committed against a family or household member.Family or household members can include:

  • Spouses or former spouses
  • Parents, children, stepchildren, and other family members
  • Those who share or formerly shared a common dwelling
  • Those who have a child together
  • Those who share a blood relationship through a child
  • Those who have dated

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Six people were arrested in a drug raid Tuesday after neighbors complained about needles in their yards and suspicious traffic in and out of a home on Tanager Road.
According to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, a search warrant was executed at the home, and investigators found hypodermic needles, glass pipes and other drug paraphernalia, along with traces of methamphetamine and bottles filled with unprescribed Xanax pills.
Deputies claim that several of those arrested tried to hide pills, pipes and plastic baggies of meth during the raid.
Our Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have handled dozens of cases involving drug crimes and as former prosecutors, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to defend your freedom. We have an impressive record of results and have defended individuals facing an array of serious drug crimes charges. We fight hard to protect your freedom.

We provide legal representation to those facing drug charges related to:

Florida has some of the strictest drug laws in the country and the police and prosecutors involved in your case will do everything they can to see that you are convicted. By contacting our Florida Drug Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton, you taking the first step toward maximizing your potential for a positive outcome.

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Nearly two dozen men are accused of massive construction fraud, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

They were arrested last week as part of an undercover sting, and now authorities are warning the public about protecting themselves against unlicensed contractors.

The nine-day undercover sting was designed to catch unlicensed contractors that authorities believe were targeting senior citizens in the area.

Detectives posed as homeowners and responded to advertisements placed by the alleged unlicensed contractors.

The contractors gave the detectives $117,000 in alleged fake estimates, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Sixteen people were arrested and six more are facing charges related to this alleged scam.

Contractor laws in the state of Florida are very important to follow. These laws can be confusing, though. If you are a contractor, it is important to follow all laws related to your profession so that you can avoid any unwanted run-ins with the law. However, mistakes do happen and if you find yourself facing criminal charges, our Tampa Bay Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help.

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