Articles Posted in Undercover Police Sting

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A Jupiter man’s license to practice medicine was suspended in 2015 after he was allegedly found dispensing powerful pain medications to drug addicts, patients with mental-health issues and, in one case, a “morbidly obese” woman complaining she couldn’t bend over.

According to law-enforcement officials, the man offered to diagnose and treat an undercover Florida Department of Health investigator during an appointment on Aug. 21, 2015.

The 62-year-old was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Friday and is facing a charge of practicing medicine without a license. He was released after posting a $3,000 bond.

At the time of the appointment, the man’s license had been suspended for six months after investigators allegedly found he had prescribed drugs such as oxycodone, Xanax and Dilaudid sometimes without performing adequate examinations and, in a few cases, failing to refer patients to addiction specialists, according to Florida Department of Health documents.

The investigation into the man dates back to 2010.

If you are facing charges of practicing medicine without a license, you must obtain legal representation as soon as possible to mitigate the serious potential consequences. It is essential to consult with a criminal defense lawyer immediately as these charges can negatively impact your life severely if not handled properly. Our South Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can advise you of your rights and apply the best possible defense strategy for your specific charges.

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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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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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The Lake County Sheriff’s Office arrested 10 men last week following a recent undercover cyber operation dubbed “Treasure Florida’s Kids.”

Detectives said during the week-long operation, they posed online as a teenager or a child’s caregiver to target those looking online for sex with children.

Eight of the men reportedly traveled to the Golden Triangle area. Authorities said it includes Eustis, Tavares and Mt. Dora.

Two other men were arrested at their homes after detectives allege they sent explicit pictures.

Authorities claim some of the men brought items with them, like blankets, pillows, beer and money.

Ten other law enforcement agencies participated in the sex sting, including Osceola, Seminole, Polk and the Citrus Sheriff’s Offices.

Internet sex stings are nothing new. In fact, these are a common occurrence with police departments across the state of Florida as well as throughout the United States. Police stage these stings and use all kinds of tactics to get normally law abiding citizens to agree to their requests so they can arrest them. In fact, police will bend the rules in order to make an arrest in these undercover schemes. Many of the men arrested for allegedly seeking to have sex with a child were not trying to meet children online. Rather, they were looking for other adults when detectives started to persuade them to break the law.

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A Walt Disney World worker was arrested Monday afternoon on charges he tried to meet a supposed minor for sex, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

The 22-year-old allegedly communicated online with what he thought was an aunt on Craigslist for three days last week about having sexual relations with her 13-year-old niece, according to reports.

Reports indicate that the “aunt” was an undercover detective working with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children operation.

In one of the communications, the Ocoee man allegedly said that he can “teach” the girl about sexual relations.

When the man arrived at an agreed location to meet the “aunt” and “girl” Monday afternoon, he was arrested. He told police that he only came to the meeting place to report the “aunt,” according to reports.

The man “has been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the charges,” according to a Disney spokesperson.

Traveling to meet a minor for sex is a very serious charge that is classified as a second-degree felony punishable by a prison term of up to 15 years and fines of up to $10,000. If convicted, you could be looking at a minimum of 21 months behind bars, not to mention mandatory registration as a sex offender.

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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 Broward lawyer was arrested Saturday on federal child porn charges, and is also accused of abusing two underage girls, according to court records.

The 47-year-old was arrested at his Margate home. An undercover investigation allegedly revealed he was logging on to a “daddaughtersex” chat room from the Internet protocol address of his Fort Lauderdale law firm and trying to persuade a stranger to let him have sex with her 13-year-old daughter, authorities said.

The man was apparently communicating with an undercover officer for about six weeks.

Authorities claim they were quick to arrest the man on the child porn charges when they found evidence he was sexually abusing a real teenage girl.

According to reports, when agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI’s task force on crimes against children went to arrest him, they uncovered evidence that he was abusing a second underage girl in Broward County.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bertha Mitrani told the judge that prosecutors expect the man will be formally charged with distributing child pornography and other, more serious charges.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Valle ordered the man be detained at least until a hearing on Friday when the prosecution and defense can present their evidence and legal arguments to her.

The man came to the attention of law enforcement Jan. 13 when he allegedly chatted online with an undercover officer from the Vermont State Attorney General’s office, authorities said. The undercover officer was apparently posing as a divorced mother with two children in the “daddaughtersex” chat room.

In the chats, police claim the man told the undercover officer he had sexually exploited an underage girl and said the abuse was ongoing.

Investigators apparently traced the online Internet protocol address he was using to the Fort Lauderdale law firm where the man worked.

During one chat, investigators claim the man sent a link to a child pornography video that showed a girl, who appeared to be about 10 years old.

Later, police allege he sent more video links that included a 3-year-old girl being sexually abused by a woman and a 6-year-old also being abused.

The man has been terminated from the law firm where he was employed.

Child pornography charges are prosecuted in both federal and state courts. At Whittel & Melton, our Broward County Criminal Defense Lawyers work to resolve your case in a way that protects your reputation, family and future as much as possible. Sometimes this means going to trial, and in other scenarios, it means negotiating the best possible plea agreement to try and avoid mandatory minimum sentences and sex offender registration.

If you are under investigation, do not wait until you get arrested to consult with an attorney regarding your child pornography cases. By enlisting our help early on in your case, the better chances we have of establishing the best defense for your charges. If you have already been charged with a sex crime, call us today at 561-367-8777.

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Undercover deputies arrested 15 men during an operation that sought out suspects who tried to solicit minors online, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office report.

The sting, called “Operation Wayfarer,” lasted five days. During the operation, Pinellas investigators posed as minors online on different websites, chatrooms and social media. They looked to establish online relationships with men who were looking to meet up with minors for the purposes of sexual activity.

Pinellas detectives allege that the suspects explicitly sought out minors for sex in their online communications.

The operation ended with 15 arrests. The suspects range in age from 20 to 47 years old and they were arrested on various charges like traveling to meet a minor and online solicitation of a minor.

If you have been charged, accused of or are under investigation for any type of Internet sex crime, it is vital to the outcome of your case to retain a criminal defense lawyer who is well-versed in the technical elements of your case. Sex crimes charges, especially ones involving minors, are not taken lightly by police or prosecutors. You must protect yourself and get the legal help you need right away.

At Whittel & Melton, our Pinellas County Criminal Defense Lawyers are comprised of former prosecutors who understand Internet sex crimes defense cases. We are more than familiar with how police set up online sting operations to catch alleged sexual predators in chat rooms, dating sites and other Internet sites. We also know that these aggressive police tactics can often infringe upon the constitutional rights of the accused. That is why we analyze every aspect of sex crimes cases, including the arrest and all evidence, to expose any holes or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

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Two men pleaded guilty Thursday to importing more than 24 pounds of the main ingredient in the street drug flakka from China to Broward County.

Federal authorities arrested a 25-year-old Orlando man and a 21-year-old Clermont man in June after they allegedly attempted to pick up packages from a shipping and mailbox store in Hollywood.

Homeland Security Investigations agents claim the packages contained the key ingredient for making the synthetic stimulant, which often causes hallucinations and psychosis.

The packages were apparently addressed to fake names and were intercepted while being shipped to commercial mailboxes in Weston and Hollywood, according to authorities.

The men apparently ordered large amounts of the drug to be shipped from labs in China and the conspiracy occurred from January to early June, according to the plea agreement.

According to reports, the men paid cash for mailbox services and used fake identities when they picked up the shipments.

At a federal court hearing in West Palm Beach, both men pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to import the drug ingredient.

The charge carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine.

The drug has been linked to several deaths in South Florida as well as many incidents of bizarre behavior.

Federal law makes it a crime to traffic drugs. Drug trafficking charges involves bringing an illegal substance from another place within the United States to another. Special consequences apply to the importation of drugs-bringing drugs from outside the United States into the country.

The penalties for violating federal drug importation laws depends on several factors- the drug involved, the quantities seized, whether use of the drug caused serious bodily injury or death and whether the person convicted has any previous drug-related convictions. Regardless of the circumstances, all the penalties are quite severe. A first conviction for a just a small quantity of a controlled substance, where no injury or death results, carries a minimum of 10 years in prison and a hefty fine.

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