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Articles Posted in Drug Importation

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During the beginning of the war on drugs, young African Americans heard rumors of government involvement in the crack-cocaine explosion that outraged LA’s black community. Although it was not openly talked about in the media in the 80’s, in 1996, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Gary Webb published his book, “Dark Alliance,” that connected the African American crack-cocaine surge to a thoroughly planned CIA operation. Major news network entities, including The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, attacked Webb’s research, ultimately discrediting his work. In December 2004, Webb committed suicide.

7724848260_ba4500da86_mNow, Webb’s expose is being further reviewed in a documentary, “Freeway: Crack in the System,” which tells the story of “Freeway” Rick Ross, who created a crack empire in LA during the 1980s and is a key figure in Webb’s “Dark Alliance” narrative. The documentary is being released following the major motion picture “Kill The Messenger,” starring Jeremy Renner in the role of Webb which is now in theatres.  The documentary focuses on key figures in the CIA now stepping forward to tell their stories in a series of interviews with The Huffington Post.

The film not only explores the corrupt foundations of the war on drugs, but also questions the jail sentences the U.S. justice system doled out to a mostly minority population, all while the country’s own foreign policy assisted the drug trade.

According to research from The Sentencing Project, in 1980, there were roughly 40,000 drug offenders in U.S. prisons. By 2011, the number of drug offenders serving prison sentences skyrocketed to more than 500,000. It is important to note that most of these offenders are not high-level operators and do not have prior criminal records.

The “War on Drugs” in the United States translates to mean that the federal and Florida drug laws give vast powers to law enforcement and prosecutors, which can end in the overzealous prosecution of even the most minor drug crimes, causing innocent people and first-time offenders to be sentenced to lengthy prison terms. At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers work tirelessly to defend clients accused of misdemeanor and felony drug crimes.

The penalties you could face for a drug crime all depend on the type of drug in question as well as the amount of the drug. Our Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys have years of experience handling crimes involving all types of drugs, narcotics and controlled substances, including:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Ecstasy
  • PCP
  • Prescription Pills

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Popular synthetic drugs such as K-2 and bath salts have found their way onto the shelves of many gas stations, convenience stores and smoke shops around the country, and it seems many of these drugs originated from Volusia County through an illegal distribution ring based out of New Smyrna Beach.

According to a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office news release, narcotics agents recently busted the organization in a series of raids that was the conclusion of a seven-month investigation, ultimately yielding 14 arrests.

The raid, dubbed Operation Tinker Bell, was launched in November by the Volusia Bureau of Investigation and was assisted by the State’s Attorney Office.

The release details that through a variety of undercover investigations agents gained access into the organization and learned that it was importing synthetic drugs from China and Canada. The drugs were then distributed around the United States, according to the release.

In certain cases, the various suspects bought the finished drugs through wholesalers and then re-sold the products at a mark-up. In other situations, suspects purchased the chemical components and actually manufactured the synthetic drugs locally and then shipped the finished product off to buyers.

The group allegedly distributed multiple kilos of finished product on a weekly basis. Through their retail sales of the synthetic drugs, the organization profited several hundred thousand dollars in the past few months.

Several businesses in the New Smyrna Beach area have been raided by VBI agents armed with court-issued search warrants.

Before these raids were executed, agents had already seized roughly 6,700 grams of synthetic drugs during the investigation, including a substance called Star Dust.

drug bust.jpgBy the end of the raids, agents had seized another 50 pounds of drugs and almost $80,000 in cash from the organization. The raids were performed four months after the Sheriff’s Office organized inspections of more than 170 businesses around the county to make sure all local businesses were complying with the statewide ban of synthetic drugs.

Of the 14 arrested, most were charged with conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, sale of a Schedule I substance and other various drug-related charges.

Drugs are a huge business in the United States, and those involved in the importing, manufacturing or selling of drugs can face serious criminal charges ranging from possession to drug trafficking. Law enforcement does not take these offenses lightly and are often conducting undercover raids to keep Florida’s streets drug free. Any time a large drug ring is busted, misdemeanor or felony charges can result depending on each individual’s level of involvement as well as the activities performed and the specific type of drug involved. Regardless of the charges you face, it is important to take these matters seriously and enlist the help of a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You could be facing lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.

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