Articles Posted in Drug Transportation

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At least 13 people were arrested in a series of drug raids Thursday in Orlando and Tampa, according to reports.

Federal agents claim members of the group have been conspiring to sell heroin and cocaine since at least December 2015.

They are charged with conspiracy and intent to distribute a controlled substance.

At least $80,000 and a 2015 Acura ILX were seized, according to reports.

Have you recently been arrested in a drug raid? If so, you will definitely need the services of a highly skilled Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton who can help you. When you are arrested on drug charges, you need a defense attorney who can investigate every aspect of your case with the hopes of possibly getting your charges reduced or even completely dismissed. We can assist with your case and have extensive experience in handling drug cases on both the state and federal levels.

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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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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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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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The Justice Department announced new rules recently that would potentially make thousands of federal inmates eligible for presidential grants of clemency, including a requirement that candidates must have served at least 10 years of their sentences and have no history of violence.

The six conditions announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole, ban inmates with ties to criminal gangs, organized crime groups and drug cartels, and are designed to broaden access to early release for non-violent offenders who were sentenced to long prison terms under mandatory minimum-sentencing policies.

Up to 13 percent of the federal prison system’s 216,000 inmates have served 10 years or more, but not all would qualify for consideration, based largely on their criminal histories.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Inmates whose sentences would be substantially lower if convicted of the same offenses today because of changes to the sentencing structure.
  • Inmates who have demonstrated good conduct in prison.
  • Inmates with no history of violence before or during their term of imprisonment.

“Let there be no mistake, this clemency initiative should not be understood to minimize the seriousness of our federal criminal law,” the deputy attorney general said. “Our prosecutors and law enforcement agents worked diligently and honorably to collect evidence and charge these defendants and then fairly and effectively obtained their convictions. … However, some of them, simply because of the operation of sentencing laws on the books at the time, received substantial sentences that are disproportionate to what they would receive today.”

Cole said most eligible applicants would probably be drug offenders, other offenders could qualify if they meet the new requirements, including so-called career criminals.

Recently, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to reduce sentencing guideline levels applicable to most federal drug offenders.

The commission estimated that 70 percent of federal drug trafficking defendants would qualify for the change, and their sentences would decrease an average of 11 months, or 17 percent, from 62 months to 51.

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A Riverview man has been arrested and charged with trafficking after deputies allege they found more than 300 pounds of marijuana at his home.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Riverview man was arrested Thursday and 358 pounds of pot were seized from 10728 Deepbrook Drive in Riverview.

Deputies claim that after obtaining a search warrant, they entered the home and found two separate rooms in the home being used to grow marijuana. Each room allegedly contained several large marijuana plants with multiple high sodium vapor lights, ballasts and fans.

In total, deputies found 70 marijuana plants in the home, according to reports. The street value of the marijuana is approximately $700,000.

Tampa Electric crews claim they found an illegal electrical connection at the home. The estimated alleged theft of electricity was $8,800.

Authorities said the 27-year-old man tried to run out of the back of the home but was apprehended in the backyard.

The Riverview man was arrested and charged with trafficking in marijuana, cultivation of marijuana, grand theft and own, lease or rent for purposes of trafficking marijuana.

Marijuana use, trafficking, sale or distribution is strictly prohibited in the state of Florida. Marijuana trafficking is a serious criminal offense that carries severe penalties if convicted. In addition to lengthy prison sentences and extensive fines, a conviction of marijuana trafficking will negatively impact all areas of your life, including employment, education, and maintaining custody of your children.

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A resident of Hazlet, New Jersey was recently surprised with an unexpected delivery showed up addressed to a person who does not live there. The surprise was 50 pounds of marijuana, to be exact.

Police in the town responded to the situation and found about $100,000 worth of pot in the boxes, according to reports.

With the hopes of finding who the package was really intended for, they posted photos of the haul on their Facebook page Thursday, writing: “If you were expecting these packages and would like to claim them, please come to Police Headquarters. In the meantime our detectives will be working with County, State, and Federal Law Enforcement agencies to locate the owner of this property.”

At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers fight for the rights of those facing any kind of charge involving marijuana. If your are facing drug charges, we can help guide you through this stressful time. We will challenge any of the prosecution’s allegations and will fight aggressively to suppress all illegally obtained evidence.

We will work tirelessly to have your charges reduced or dropped. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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