Articles Posted in Drug Transportation

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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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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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A group of eight individuals are suspected of using modified tractor trailers to transport cocaine between Texas and Palm Beach County.

The eight suspects from South Florida and the McAllen, Texas area are facing drug charges in a case before the federal courts. All of them are in custody, as they were arrested on Monday and Tuesday in both states.

According to a criminal complaint filed in West Palm Beach federal court, the group was moving 200 kilograms of cocaine a month into Palm Beach County.

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The owner of an Altamonte Mall jewelry store has been arrested on federal charges after his business was raided Wednesday as part of a nationwide sweep on synthetic drugs.

According to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration official, the jewelry store owner allegedly oversaw a large synthetic drug operation in Central Florida.

A federal grand jury indicted the man Wednesday, the same day DEA agents raided his Windermere-area home, Altamonte Springs jewelry store and a warehouse on John Young Parkway where he is accused of storing drug paraphernalia.

spiceAgents claim that the man was not selling drugs out of the jewelry store, but allegedly laundered the proceeds through the business.

The owner and his two alleged associated were each indicted on two federal drug charges.

If convicted, prosecutors would seek to forfeit more than $13 million from the suspects, as well as the jewelry store owner’s nearly 8,200-square-foot home on McKinnon Road.

This drug sweep is part of “Project Synergy,” a multi-agency operation targeting all levels of the global synthetic drug market.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the DEA said that the latest phase of “Project Synergy” ended with the arrests of more than 150 people nationwide. Around 200 search warrants were executed across 29 states.

Authorities claim they confiscated hundreds of thousands of individually packaged, ready-to-sell synthetic drugs, hundreds of kilograms of raw synthetic products and more than $20 million cash.

Synthetic drugs are often promoted as bath salts, herbal incense, jewelry cleaner or plant food and have increased in popularity.

Bath salts, which are illegal in Florida, are comprised of substances that are meant to mimic the effects of LSD, cocaine or methamphetamine. These drugs are marketed under names such as “Ivory Wave” and “Vanilla Sky.”

Synthetic marijuana, also referred to as “K2” or “Spice,” is also illegal in Florida and a growing concern among teens and young adults.

Synthetic marijuana and bath salts are considered controlled substances under both state and federal law, which means you are looking at prison time if you are charged with a drug crime involving either of these drugs. Even if you purchased these illegal substances at a smoke shop or head shop in the Altamonte Springs area, you can still be arrested and charged with a drug crime by local authorities or even the DEA.

Along with ecstasy, peyote and LSD, synthetic marijuana and bath salts are classified as schedule I controlled substances under federal law. Schedule I controlled substances are considered highly addictive and are believed to have no medical value. A conviction for a federal drug crime charge, including possession, manufacturing, distributing or trafficking will result in mandatory minimum sentencing, which usually means several years behind bars.

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Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies and undercover detectives conducted a three day county-wide proactive initiative that focused on repeat offenders, drug offenders, offenders on probation and followed up on crime tips and crime trends.

After the three day operation, 101 suspects were arrested and 15 search warrants were served.

Of those detained, 92 are repeat offenders, with a total of 955 prior arrests and more than 1,500 criminal charges.

Deputies and detectives claim they were able to seize $13,378, six firearms, one vehicle, more than two pounds of marijuana and more than three ounces of methamphetamine and 45.1 grams of hydrocodone.

drug sweepThe 101 suspects arrested were charged with 325 offenses, including 180 felonies, 145 misdemeanors, 32 outstanding warrants for 32 felonies and 17 misdemeanors, 5 warrants from other jurisdictions and one fugitive from justice.

Nine of those arrested were currently on probation, and received a violation of probation charge in addition to other charges. According to police, more than 12 of those arrested had active warrants for violating probation.

Reports indicate that 40 of the suspects were receiving public assistance at the time of their arrest, and 32 out of the 101 have served time in prison before.

The investigation focused on Auburndale, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, Eloise, Frostproof and Lakeland areas of Polk County.

The sweep was part of the agency’s “Proactive Community Attack on Problems”, also known as the “PROCAP” program, that involves collecting daily crime data, studying trends in the data and delivering that information to supervisors and deputies.

When conducting a drug sweep, police usually raid homes and businesses where they believe drug activity is taking place. Numerous people can be arrested in these operations and charged with drug possession or distribution, as well as additional crimes like weapons charges and probation violations. While police may believe that those they are arrest are dealing drugs, many people caught up in these sweeps are innocent bystanders that have no direct connection to the drug trade.

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Police arrested two men on Thursday for allegedly trafficking cocaine and a slew of other charges following a routine traffic stop.

Members of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Investigations Unit apparently witnessed a driver not utilizing proper signals in the 4000 block of West State Road 40. Police claim the vehicle was weaving, swerving and crossing the fog line multiple times. Detectives pulled the driver over in the 7000 block of the highway and allegedly seized drugs and firearms.

According to officials, they detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car and that one of the occupants seemed nervous. The men were asked to exit the vehicle.
While authorities were searching a 28-year-old Ocala man they allegedly found two clear plastic bags containing marijuana, according to the arrest report.

Detectives claim they recovered two loaded firearms and 42 grams of cocaine from inside the vehicle. Reports indicate that one of the guns found, a Springfield Armory Model XD, had been reported stolen.

cocaine baggie betch.jpgThe Ocala man told a detective he had purchased the Springfield for $140. He apparently denied ownership of the second gun, an H&R Inc. Gardner Model 632, or the cocaine.

The man was charged with trafficking cocaine, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of marijuana less than 20 grams.

The driver of the car, a 19-year-old Ocala man, was also was arrested. He was charged with armed trafficking of cocaine, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and carrying a concealed weapon.

Trafficking cocaine is classified as a felony in Marion County and throughout the state of Florida. Police and prosecutors usually seek maximum sentences in drug trafficking cases. In order to obtain a conviction, prosecutors do not have to actually prove that the defendant intended to sell or distribute cocaine, just that there was enough of the drug in the person’s possession that could indicate it was to be sold. This is an offense that is not taken lightly and the penalties attached could significantly impact your future, and not for the better.

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The Lake County Sheriff’s Office arrested nearly 40 suspected dealers and suppliers across the county last month in a drug bust dubbed “Operation Dog Pound.”

Tips from everyday citizens apparently started the initial investigation.

According to Lake County detectives, 38 men and women were arrested for their involvement in the supply and sale of cocaine and crack.

Many of the complaints came from residents in the Umatilla area about the sale of cocaine taking place in their neighborhoods, according to investigators.

The investigation began in October and ended in early November.

More than $100,000 worth of cocaine was allegedly taken off the streets, most of it in Umatilla, Mount Dora and Eustis.

According to detectives, no drug network was uncovered, however a few key suppliers were found to have sold powdered cocaine to street level dealers who made it into crack.

Authorities believe more arrests will follow.

crack betch.jpgDrug charges are aggressively pursued on both the state and federal level and carry very harsh penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences that involve prison time. These charges should never be taken lightly as the sale and delivery of drugs in Florida is a second-degree felony. The sale and delivery of cocaine carries very heavy penalties. However, there are valid defenses to these types of drug charges. No matter the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you may be able to beat your case. A Lake County Criminal Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can make sure your rights are protected and that you fully understand all of your legal options.

Just because you were arrested for a serious drug crime does not mean you have been convicted of the offense. It is never in your best interest to just plead guilty before speaking to a criminal defense attorney. Many people arrested for drug crimes fail to take action by hiring a lawyer and end up missing out on opportunities to have their case dismissed, reduced or even dropped. Think twice before pleading guilty or accepting a plea deal with prosecutors for probation. A conviction on your permanent record can cause many problems in both your personal and professional life down the road.

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An 89-year-old Indiana man and the owner of an Apopka lily nursery pleaded guilty Tuesday in Detroit to transporting more than 1,400 pounds of cocaine to Michigan between 2009 and 2011.

The Michigan City, Ind., man is one of the oldest criminal defendants in Detroit’s federal court. He told the court that he had never committed a crime before and that he worked for drug dealers because he needed money.

The man was 87 in 2011 when a Michigan state trooper pulled his pickup truck over on Interstate 94, just west of Detroit. According to the trooper, the man was upset about what he would find in his truck and said, “Just kill me and let me leave this planet.”

cocaine betch.jpgThe man told a U.S. District judge that he was aware he was transporting cocaine.

Due to the man’s age, prosecutors are showing leniency by recommending a five-year prison sentence. This is a huge break since the sentencing guidelines call for a minimum of 14 years.

The man’s defense attorney said he will request that the man serve less than five years at the man’s next court date on Feb. 11.

The man apparently owes $500,000 as part of the plea deal and has agreed to give up his lily nursery in Apopka, Fla. Reports indicate he will be allowed to keep his Indiana home.

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The Altamonte Springs Police Department netted 11 arrests after conducting a three week undercover drug bust at the Remington Inn and Suites.

Detectives claim that multiple, large scale drug purchases were made from various suspects at hotel’s location over the course of the sting operation.

Police arrested 11 different people between Friday and Tuesday, and they expect additional arrests to be made within the next few days.

A 33-year-old man was charged with trafficking opiates, the sale of marijuana, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and violation of probation.

Another man, 28, was charged with the sale of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

A 29-year-old man was charged with the sale of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana under 20 grams and possession of paraphernalia.

A woman, 27, was charged with the sale of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

A 44-year-old man was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of paraphernalia.

A 52-year-old woman was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of paraphernalia.

A man, 49, was charged with the sale of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

A 25-year-old man was charged with the sale of marijuana.

A man, 39, was charged with the sale of crack cocaine.

An 18-year-old was charged with the sale of marijuana.

A 21-year-old male was charged with the sale of barbiturate or Xanax.

loaded-with-hash_l.jpgIf you believe you are under investigation for a drug crime, or if you have already been formally charged, it is vital to the success of your case to seek representation from a criminal defense lawyer right away. A criminal defense attorney can be a huge help during the investigation phase of your criminal matter, so it is best to protect your rights and act fast. By hiring an attorney early on in your arrest, you may be able to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely. A Seminole County Criminal Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can provide you with an aggressive defense for the following drug offenses:

• Cultivation
• Distribution
• Importation
• Juvenile Drug Crimes
• Manufacturing
• Possession
• Possession for Sale
• Sale or Distribution
• Trafficking
• Transportation

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