The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports that 30 suspects were arrested in South Florida for engaging in a massive operation that trafficked drugs from Arizona to Florida. A 12-count indictment filed earlier this month claims the defendants were part of a conspiracy that involved shipping cocaine hydrochloride from Tucson, Ariz., to Palm Beach County for sale and distribution as both cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base. Much of the cocaine was sold in and around the Lake Worth area. If convicted, the defendants each face up to life in prison.
From the very beginning, the costs and penalties rendered to those arrested and their families for merely being charged with a drug trafficking crime typically face the overwhelming and for some, almost impossible task of trying to get that person out of jail pending a trial or other disposition. Many times, when one is arrested for trafficking in drugs, depending on the drug, one will be held without bond. However, many trafficking crimes are not as serious, but carry excessive bonds, that may be so expensive that paying the bond, even with a bail-bondsman is virtually impossible.
Drug trafficking cases in Florida carry mandatory minimum sentences which can range from 3 years to 25 years, even for a first time offender. Florida drug laws are among some of the harshest in the country. Even relatively minor drug charges, such as possession, possession with intent and delivery of a small amount of drugs, can sometimes carry serious penalties upon conviction and have an impact over your personal, family and professional life.
Punishment for drug trafficking offense also depends, in part on the type of controlled Substance as well as the amount of the substance, but can carry a prison sentence, as well as fines as high as $500,000.
Drug trafficking offenses commonly involve the following types of narcotics or controlled substances:
Trafficking in Marijuana or Cannabis or Conspiracy to Traffic in Marijuana or Cannabis;
Trafficking in Cocaine, or Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine;
Trafficking in Heroin, or Conspiracy to Traffic Heroin; and
Trafficking in Prescription Medication such as hydrocodine or oxycotin.
Many times, federal drug trafficking charges will be brought because of the trafficker moving the drugs across state lines. These federal penalties are also dependent on the type of controlled substance and the amount. Most do not think about prior misconduct in the law, particularly whether the charge would be a first, second, or third offense. If one’s case does involve an aggravating factor such as a prior drug conviction, involvement in a conspiracy, or possession of a firearm, one could be exposed to an even longer prison sentence.
In most drug trafficking cases, if one obtains an experienced drug trafficking defense attorney, one’s attorney will be able to scrutinize and investigate whether the actions of the police were proper. Police action could be a red flag for witness tampering or be a cause for a motion for suppression of evidence for unlawful search. Many times the police will search one’s property without a search warrant, or use some other manner to invade one’s privacy. Wiretaps, informants, dog sniffing, infra-red heat detection systems and other police methods have been found either entirely unconstitutional or usable in very limited circumstances. One should not suffer because the police do not follow the law.
If one obtains an experienced Jacksonville drug crimes defense attorney, one’s attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress any illegally obtained evidence and argue any potential defenses to one’s possession of the illegal substance either on one’s person or in one’s home.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: Operation Tumbleweed cocaine sweep: 30 arrested in ‘massive’ Arizona to Florida drug conspiracy, WPTV Web Team/Associated Press, WPTV Channel 5