Articles Posted in Drug Trafficking

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A man dressed as Santa Claus was arrested Monday for allegedly possessing a variety of drugs, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office was conducting an investigation on Golfair Boulevard following numerous recent drug complaints when they claim the 41-year-old man was spotted standing at the driver’s door of a U-Haul rental truck in the parking lot of a business, according to police.

Police said the man stood out because he was wearing a red and white Santa Claus outfit, complete with hat and white beard.

The man was apparently seen several times going into the driver’s side of a U-Haul truck, retrieving items and walking away, police said.

After seeing police, the man allegedly ran from the parking lot where a large amount of marijuana was in plain view on the driver’s seat of the U-Haul.

Police claim the man resisted arrest.

A search of the U-Haul revealed marijuana, a scale with marijuana residue and a black pouch containing MDMA — commonly known as Ecstasy — on the front driver’s seat, according to reports.

There was also a 5-gallon orange bucket with a white lid on the driver’s side floorboard. Inside the bucket, police claim they uncovered marijuana, a yellow substance known to contain THC, Molly, Ecstasy pills and money.

The man was arrested and booked into the Duval County Jail.

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Two men were arrested Saturday night on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The men, 35 and 38, are also charged with possession of paraphernalia for the manufacturing or delivery of drugs.

According to an arrest report, one of the men was pulled over just before 7 p.m. Saturday for driving his mother’s car without the lights on.

Police allege he also had a suspended license.

A narcotics K-9 was brought in. Police claim they found methamphetamine, a large number of prescription pills and two guns inside the car.

One of the men also faces charges of carrying a concealed firearm.

Both men were booked into the Duval County Jail.

The state of Florida has taken a tough stance in regards to the growing number of methamphetamine trafficking cases. Prosecutors and law enforcement officials takes these crimes very seriously and will stop at nothing to obtain a conviction.

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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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Fifteen people have been arrested as part of a drug-trafficking investigation in Manatee County.

The multi-agency investigation started due to the high number of recent heroin overdoses and deaths in the area.

During the 18-month undercover investigation, authorities allegedly confiscated $262,500 worth of heroin, $111,000 worth of cocaine, 200 grams of fentanyl, 100 hydromorphone pills, 28 firearms and more than $327,000 in cash and assets.

Detectives believe the investigation resulted in a significant decrease in the number of heroin overdoses and deaths in Manatee County.

In 2015, the Bradenton Police Department and the Manatee Sheriff’s Office investigated 77 heroin-related deaths. So far, there have not been any this year.

When an individual has been accused of or charged with a criminal offense involving heroin, it is crucial that they consult with a Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton right away. You have legal rights that must be protected. It is important to know that under the law, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The penalties in Florida for drug crimes are very serious, which is why we fight hard to protect those accused of drug crimes from lengthy prison terms and other penalties that can wreck their careers, reputation, and future.

Whether you have already been charged with a heroin or other drug crime, or are under investigation, it is imperative that you discuss your situation with us immediately. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can explore any and all options you have, and develop a strong defense strategy.

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A man was arrested in Brooksville early Wednesday morning for selling crack cocaine near a church.

Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the 54-year-old man at his home on Twigg Street.

Their search of the house allegedly revealed crack cocaine, marijuana packaged for distribution, drug paraphernalia, numerous guns and rounds of ammunition.

The man was charged with three counts of sale and possession of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a church, as well as the following:

  • Possession of a Structure for Manufacturing Controlled Substance
  • Trafficking in Crack Cocaine
  • Possession of Methamphetamine
  • Possession of Marijuana over 20 Grams with Intent to Distribute
  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm (2 counts)
  • Felon in Possession of Ammunition
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

The man’s house shares Twigg Street with three churches. It is also in the vicinity of a bus stop that services several schools, Brooksville Engineering, Science, and Technology Academy (BEST), and the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office South Brooksville Community Center, according to reports.

Florida laws make it a greater crime to be convicted of drug sales within 1000 feet of a church. This can enhance a misdemeanor drug crime to a first-degree felony, which means the person convicted could face up to 30 years in state prison.

The thing about drug crimes within 1,000 feet of a church is that these cases almost always have holes, like is it really a church? Does the church hold regular religious services? Does it actually measure one thousand feet exactly?

There is always evidence that must be questioned in drug crimes cases. At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers will investigate every shred of evidence and look for flaws in the prosecution’s case. Our ultimate goal is to beat the charges against you so that you can move on with your life unscathed.

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A federal jury recently found a 23-year-old cruise ship employee guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 11, 2016. He was indicted on August 21, 2015.

According to evidence presented at trial, the man was part of a drug distribution ring that imported cocaine into the United States from Roatan, Honduras using cruise ship employees at several ports in the United States. The man, along with five other crewmen from Norwegian Cruise Line, apparently received packages of cocaine from a source of supply in Honduras while the cruise ship was docked there. The packages ranged from 750 grams to a full kilogram of cocaine.

Reports indicate that once the ship had docked in Tampa, the crewmen gathered at a restaurant near the port to remove their secretly stashed cocaine packages. They then met with two local drug traffickers, who had ties to the Honduran source of supply, to provide them with the packages of cocaine. The two local traffickers were stopped by law enforcement after leaving the Channelside District. Agents claim they seized 10 packages of cocaine with a total weight of more than 7.5 kilograms. Agents also said they confiscated more than $50,000 from the crewmen.  

The five other cruise ship employees previously pleaded guilty for their roles in this case.  They will be sentenced in January 2016.  

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shauna S. Hale and Gregory Nolan.

If you are facing transportation or federal drug trafficking charges, you need a strong criminal defense lawyer right away. State and federal drug charges for smuggling carry severe penalties, including years behind bars. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a conviction for drug smuggling could lead to deportation and might forever ban you from becoming a U.S. citizen.

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More than 20 pounds of marijuana, a semi-automatic pistol and $9,000 in cash were allegedly found Monday after agents raided a Flagler County home.

Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Tri-County Narcotics Task Force, as well as Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies, apparently seized 23 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $76,000, a pistol and the cash during the search warrant they executed around 8:52 p.m. at a home on Wheatfield Drive in Palm Coast.

A 21-year-old of Palm Coast was arrested and charged with one count of possession of cannabis with intent to sell. He was booked into the Flagler County Jail on $10,000 bond.

According to jail records, he has since posted bond.

During the operations, the semi-automatic pistol that was seized was determined to have been reported stolen by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

With Florida law enforcement determined to crack down on drug laws and close ranks on drug distribution operations, it can be amazingly easy to find yourself arrested for a drug possession with intent to sell charge. Arrests like these can stem from simple misunderstandings or even after you have been allegedly caught for possession and the prosecution wishes to amp up the charges.

Regardless of the situation, adding intent to distribute to a drug possession charge can greatly increase the penalties you face if convicted. It is highly recommended you work with a Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer to protect your rights and fight these charges.

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A former West Delray doctor faces a mandatory minimum of 1,343 years in prison when he is sentenced in January on charges of overprescribing pain medication.

The former doctor prescribed high numbers of oxycodone — including 20,000 pills over 10 months to one patient.

The jury, a panel of four men and two women, deliberated more than 16 hours over three days before finding the former doctor guilty of 55 drug trafficking counts. They found him not guilty of 19 charges.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jack Cox said he will sentence Schultz on Jan. 8. The 59-year-old doctor, whose medical license was already suspended, was immediately taken into custody by courthouse deputies. He had been free on bail since his 2011 arrest.

Schultz still has a pending 2013 manslaughter charge and another trial looming in the 2010 overdose death of a 50-year old male patient who was taking methadone — a fact that was not permitted to be shared with the jurors who just convicted him.

Authorities began investigating the former doctor in 2010 after receiving a complaint from a Lake Worth pharmacy that a patient tried to fill a 30-day supply of oxycodone totaling 1,590 pills. The pharmacist testified he became alarmed because that would be enough medication for nine months.

Officials then seized records from the former doctor’ s office, which allegedly revealed that he prescribed 80,350 oxycodone tablets between March 25 and May 11, 2010, compared to 3,450 pills for other ailments, an arrest report shows.

It is likely that the former doctor will file an appeal.

Have you been charged with a drug offense? Time is of the utmost importance. Contact a South Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible after your arrest. We can explain the court process and begin working immediately on an effective drug crimes defense strategy for your unique situation.

Those facing charges for drug trafficking or any other related offense are encouraged to contact us for a free case evaluation. We can make sure you understand your charges as well as the options you have available for your defense.

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Authorities arrested a Florida deputy recently for her alleged role in a marijuana selling business following a month-long investigation.

According to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, an anonymous tipster told them a 27-year-old female deputy was involved in drug activity. Authorities apparently searched the apartment she was staying at with her boyfriend and another couple Friday and said they found felony amounts of marijuana, packaging materials and other items typically associated with the sale and distribution of marijuana.

The woman was charged with marijuana possession over 20 grams, marijuana possession with intent to sell and possessing drug equipment.

She posted bail early Saturday morning and has been placed on administrative leave without pay.

The three other people in the apartment were also arrested on drug charges.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in Florida and throughout the United States. Marijuana is heavily portrayed all over the media, from music videos, movies and television. Because of how common it is, many people assume that marijuana-related drug charges are not as serious as other types of drug crimes. This could not be further from the truth. If you are arrested for possessing or selling marijuana in the state of Florida you could face very serious consequences.

If you or someone  you love has been arrested for a marijuana-related drug offense, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible. You have a very small window of time to defend yourself from these charges, so it is best to act fast. A conviction for possessing or selling marijuana can have many consequences, and could affect your life long after you have served any jail time.

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Two Hernando residents have been accused of manufacturing methamphetamine in front of a child.

A search warrant was executed at a home on the 3900 block of Withlacoochee Trail Wednesday morning and Citrus Sheriff Fire Rescue Hazardous Materials Team responded to assist with the investigation due to potentially hazardous materials.

During the search, detectives allege they discovered several items used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Deputies believe that a secondary structure on the property was used to cook meth via the “one pot” method.

A small child was present during the manufacturing process, according to deputies. DCF was immediately notified and responded.

During the search, cooked methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, manufacturing vessels, other manufacturing paraphernalia, and a large amount of meth liquid was allegedly collected.

The amount of methamphetamine seized was more than 200 grams, according to reports. Due to the amount of meth collected, a 29-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman were charged with trafficking in methamphetamine. If convicted, they face a 15 year minimum mandatory sentence in prison.

They have also been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a child, possession of listed chemical, and possession of paraphernalia.

The state of Florida takes meth charges quite seriously. After being arrested for trafficking in methamphetamine, you need to know that you are facing severe consequences if convicted. Our Hernando County Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton understand how scary these charges are and we are here to help you obtain the best possible outcome for your unique situation.

Meth is viewed as damaging to not just the person using it, but to members of the community as well. The production of meth can result in fires and explosions that can injure and kill innocent people, including children present, law enforcement personnel and emergency responders who are called to a house that is producing meth. Exposing a child to a meth lab is a first-degree felony, and a conviction carries a five-year minimum mandatory prison sentence. Causing the death of someone else through the manufacture of meth is a capital felony, punishable by life in prison.

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