Articles Posted in Duval County

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A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former NFL player Jabar Gaffney, who is charged with felony criminal mischief in the vandalism of his former teammate’s BMW.

Someone slashed the tires of Lito Sheppard’s BMW and poured a contaminant into the gas tank while the car was parked outside a Jacksonville Beach restaurant June 17, causing $14,000 in damage.

Afterward, Sheppard, a former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback, sought a temporary restraining order to keep Gaffney from coming near him or his family, according to reports.

Gaffney and Sheppard, former teammates at Raines High School and later at the University of Florida, grew up in Jacksonville. Both returned to the city following their professional football careers.

In Sheppard’s petition for injunction, which he signed under oath, he said Gaffney had been threatening and harassing him, as well as damaging his personal property. He said the two have feuded in recent years because of false allegations claiming Sheppard had an affair with Gaffney’s wife.

Vandalism refers to the destruction, defacement, or damage inflicted to another’s property. Under Florida law, criminal mischief, also known as vandalism, can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount of damage caused. When the amount of damage to the property in question exceeds $1,000, the offense is a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.

In the unfortunate event that you are facing vandalism charges, do not discuss your case with anyone. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to consider the fact that anything you say and do can be used against you in a court of law, so assert your right to remain silent. You want your attorney present before any questioning can occur.

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A 27-year-old Florida man was arrested Thursday on a pimping charge during an undercover Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office investigation.

The man is charged with living off the earnings of a prostitute, cocaine possession and transporting a person for prostitution.

Jacksonville police were apparently digging into online ads for escorts when they came across the man, according to reports.

An undercover officer posed as a customer and met with the man and an alleged prostitute, who apparently agreed to have sex with the detective for $160, according to police.

The man and woman were both arrested.

If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, the most important thing you can do before anything else is hire a criminal defense attorney. You need legal help to reduce the potential damages to your life and future. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you with whatever criminal charges you are dealing with – big or small.

In your free consultation, we will give you an honest assessment of your case, including the potential defenses and outcomes, so that you are educated on the issues at hand. Our goal is to provide you with effective legal counsel that will ultimately avoid a criminal conviction whenever possible. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, in either state or federal court, our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can take immediate action for your defense.

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A Mandarin High School student and an 18-year-old Northside charter school student were allegedly caught Friday with guns on their respective campuses, according to police.

The 18-year-old was arrested Friday with a loaded gun in his book bag at Biscayne High Charter School on the Northside, police said. The gun had 14 rounds in it, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

He is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 30.

Across town, a 17-year-old apparently had a loaded .380 handgun at Mandarin High and was also charged with possession of marijuana, according to reports.

There were five rounds in the gun.

No students or staff were hurt.

There have been three gun-in-school arrests in Duval County this school year. During the 2016-17 school year, there were 17 arrests in incidents that resulted in 11 guns, a Taser and a starter pistol being confiscated.

Gun violence is certainly an ongoing issue, and something high schools, middle schools and even elementary schools have to deal with on a regular basis. Because of this, Florida laws have cracked down on individuals, including juveniles, who bring weapons onto school property.

Below are a list of weapons that are banned from being brought on school property:

  • Firearms
  • Shotguns
  • Rifles
  • Knives
  • Cutting tools
  • Nunchuck sticks
  • Any other tool, instrument or implement that can inflict serious bodily injury

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Three women were arrested Thursday night, two on drug charges and one on a prostitution charge, after an undercover operation at a well-known strip club on Jacksonville’s Southside.

A 22-year-old is facing a charge of soliciting for prostitution, and two other women are facing drug-related charges. One is charged with delivering or distributing cocaine and methamphetamine, and selling benzodiazepine. The other is charged with possession of synthetic drugs and drug paraphernalia.

According to arrest reports, one of the women allegedly sold drugs to undercover agents four times.

The two women arrested on drug charges are each being held on $25,000 bond.

Drug arrests are very serious. The type of penalties that you could be facing depend upon the circumstances involved in your case. While your case may seem similar to another person arrested for a drug crime, every case is unique and the courts determine punishment on a case by case basis. You could be looking at:

  • Probation
  • Drug counseling
  • Jail or prison time
  • Community Service
  • Fines
  • Forfeiture of assets

Our Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton provide representation to those who have had been charged with a drug related offense. We can help you understand what to do after you have been arrested and what needs to be done to develop a strong defense.

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Jacksonville police have made a massage parlor prostitution arrest.

A 57-year-old woman was arrested Thursday after she allegedly offered to perform a sex act for $70 on an undercover police officer who was getting a massage, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Police said a 55-year-old woman was arrested earlier this month during a prostitution sting at a different Jacksonville massage spa.

Prostitution is defined as any sexual activity in return for payment. If you have been accused of prostitution, understand that you are innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty. You have the right to a criminal defense attorney and due process under the law. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you establish a viable defense when facing prostitution charges.

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A woman accused of performing oral sex on a man inside the Duval County Courthouse and then posting a video of the act has been arrested.

The 26-year-old was booked into the Duval County jail Wednesday night, according to jail records.

Authorities started investigating after a video surfaced on social media showing a man receiving oral sex from a woman in front of what appears to be a courtroom in January. The woman had been in the courthouse for an arraignment for a drug paraphernalia arrest, according to court records. She pleaded no contest and was sentenced to time served.

The incident also was captured on a courthouse security camera.

If you think you are doing something illegal, it is never a good idea to take a video and post it on social media. The same goes if you have been arrested for a crime. While you may want to post about your arrest as a way to blow off steam or gain support, this is just a bad idea and could be deemed as evidence and eventually used against you in court. Your post could even get you arrested again. When in doubt, the rule is simple: don’t post it on social media!  

Being arrested and charged with a crime is extremely stressful. If you have been charged with a criminal act, you need to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to make sure your rights remain protected. Our Duval County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you establish a solid defense against your charges.

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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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Four women, who range in age from 29 to 52, were arrested Wednesday on prostitution charges during a citywide sting, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Three of the arrests happened in the urban core area, but one of the women was arrested near 103rd Street on the Westside, according to reports.

In all four cases, the women allegedly offered to perform oral sex on an undercover detective for $23, the arrest reports say.

The bust was part of the Sheriff’s Office’s efforts to crack down on prostitution in Jacksonville and cut down on crime.

Last month, police arrested 12 men for allegedly soliciting for prostitution during a sting operation along Philips Highway.

If you have been arrested for prostitution, you need to understand what the law says about this sex crime and your rights. Prostitution is offering or agreeing to engage in the act of prostitution, which is the exchange of a sexual act for money or other goods or services. Florida law enforcement officers have the right to arrest any person that assists in arranging an act of prostitution.

Prostitution is typically a misdemeanor offense and the penalties for a first-time prostitution charge can include up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

There are several different defense strategies that could help you defeat your prostitution charges, and our Duval County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will take every single option into consideration to try and achieve a positive outcome for your case. We are well aware of how law enforcement officers will use undercover sting operations to make arrests for prostitution. Most of these busts involve sneaky and sometimes even not so legal tactics to obtain an arrest.

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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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