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Articles Posted in Immigration Law Violations

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Florida Keys resident Alex Bogomolny had an outstanding $1.5 million arrest warrant based on allegations that he conducted multiple counts of fraud, specifically, trafficking in counterfeit credit cards and identity theft.

According to reports, he was picked up by the Monroe County Sherriff’s Office Tuesday as he was trying to catch a flight to Russia.

Credit Cards ...item 2.. Big hack attack on Israel inevitable, say experts (01/09/2012 12:04) ...

That day, the sheriff’s office received word that Bogomolny had flown out of Key West to New York but had missed his connecting flight to Russia. He was waiting in the John F. Kennedy airport for another flight, when he was apprehended.

Working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office alerted ICE agents that he was trying to flee the country. ICE agents found Bogomolny at the JFK and took him into custody.

Bogomolny will be returned to Monroe County to face charges.

Bogomolny’s scheme was discovered when he was picked up for allegedly stealing a bicycle in Big Pine Key. When his personal belongings were collected when he was questions, Officers found over two dozen credit cards with different people’s names on them. Bogomolny was unable to give a good explanation for his possession of so many cards, which prompted law enforcement fo start an investigation. During this investigation, investigators found that he was opening up credit accounts under other people’s names, according to the sheriff’s office, prompting the arrest warrant.

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Search warrants were served at homes in Orlando, Apopka, Sorrento and Kissimmee and a total of nine people were arrested Tuesday as a number of Central Florida police agencies dug further into an investigation into an alleged large-scale Mexican marijuana distribution ring labeled the “Gulf Cartel.”

The FBI, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Osceola and Seminole County Sheriff’s Offices apparently seized evidence, including cars and motorcycles from one of the properties, and forensic investigators were reportedly seen carrying shovels to apparently dig up money buried in the yard.

Federal prosecutors allege the Gulf Cartel shipped thousands of pounds of marijuana from Mexico through McAllen, Texas and then to Panama City, Florida and finally, to the six homes raided in Orange, Lake and Osceola counties.

Each monthly shipment was allegedly worth as much as $1million.

The nine individuals arrested apparently operated undercover, and investigators are looking into their immigration status.

Investigators accused the nine suspects of burying cash in the yard until it could be moved back to Texas in an 82-page report filed in Federal Court on Monday.

A source apparently told investigators that the Gulf Cartel allegedly had $2 million buried in Florida at some point while waiting for the money to be sent back to Texas.

Nine people were named and charged with possession with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana in a criminal complaint filed in Federal Court on Monday. Five of those were named in Federal Court on Tuesday afternoon.

In Florida, possession with intent relates to the criminal charge of possession of an illegal substance, such as marijuana or cannabis, with the intent to sell the drug. Penalties for this crime are severe, and each of the men charged in this particular case face a minimum of 10 years in prison. Most often the penalties for possession with the intent to distribute, sell or deliver include incarceration in state prison for as much as 30 years. Possession with the intent to sell or distribute is a felony offense, and because of this, it is vital to the success of your case to contact a Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorney to help defend your case from the very beginning. The criminal defense lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand the consequences associated with a criminal drug charge and will implement strategic defense tactics to protect your rights.

When law enforcement believes they have discovered a person who has committed the crime of possession with intent to sell or deliver, they are not required to prove that the drugs in question were actually sold by that person. Rather, they must establish that the person merely intended to sell the drugs in their possession. The following are just some of the factors the State will look at to decide applicable charges:

• The amount of cash in an individual’s custody
• The amount of drugs in a person’s possession
• The location where the offense transpired
• How the drugs are packaged
In addition to the above factors, law enforcement officers may rely on circumstantial evidence to prove that the drugs possessed were intended to be sold or delivered. In fact, even a scarce amount of drugs found on a person may be alleged by police to be intended for future sale or distribution.

The Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you understand the charges you are facing as well as your legal rights. As former prosecutors in Florida, our staff of attorneys has first-hand knowledge of how the prosecution works and how to assemble a case to defend your rights against any drug charge. Regardless of whether this is your first offense or if you have priors, we will fight for the best results possible and will not hesitate to take your case to trial.

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The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has been using federal immigration detainers to arrest and jail suspected illegal immigrants. Lake County is not the only jurisdiction making use of this practice but, according to the report, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is one of the more active agencies making these sorts of arrests–during the last two years they have made more than 200 arrests of individuals who have no other criminal charges.

This practice can open the Sherriff’s office to civil liability including lawsuits for constitutional violations, false arrests and false imprisonment. And as a result of these arrests, the ACLU has sent out a statewide missive urging the law enforcement agencies “to end the unlawful practice of jailing people based upon ‘immigration detainers’ issued by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.”

ACLU officials say I.C.E. has authority to request detention of immigrants already in custody for controlled substance violations. However it seems that the more recent practice of rounding up otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants in detainer sweeps is excessive and unnecessary.

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