Reynaldo Tapanes of Miami pled guilty to participating in an operation that stole nearly $600,000 in prescription medicine and hair care products. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the thefts occurred in Florida in 2008 and 2009. The crime involved prescription respiratory medicine in a tractor-trailer that was stolen in Tampa, and Tapanes admitted delivering the drugs to an unnamed contact. Tapanes also admitted delivering hair care products to a warehouse in Newark. Those were part of a shipment from Ohio to Florida. He admitted receiving $180,000 for both deliveries.
Conspiracy is commonly characterized as an accord of two or more people to commit a crime. Conspiracy crimes can range from financial conspiracies and tax fraud to something as simple as drug sale operations in a local neighborhood. The most commonly prosecuted conspiracy crimes in Jacksonville and federal court is conspiracy to distribute drugs, particularly marijuana, ecstasy, and methamphetamine. However, many of these conspiracies now are broad-scale theft crimes.
A conspiracy does not need to be planned in secret and does not require proof of specific intent by the accused to injure any specific individual. Instead, the conspirators need only to have agreed to engage in a certain illegal act under Florida law.
An experienced attorney would file motions to dismiss and motions to suppress evidence collected through improper law enforcement search and seizure procedures that violates clients’ Fourth Amendment rights. Many times, improperly obtained evidence can results in suppression of evidence and the complete dismissal of charges all together.
Conspiracy to traffic, import, distribute, or dispense illegal drugs in federal court can carry harsh minimum sentences of 10 years to life. In Florida, drug trafficking charges are punishable by up to life in prison with up to 15 years of minimum mandatory time. One may feel that one is up against the wall in legal battles, leaving many to feel there are no effective defenses against major drug charges to significantly improve outcomes, particularly when evidence against one seems insurmountable.
Many of the major defenses to drug charges come simply by having an experienced attorney who knows where the holes will be in proper police procedure. One’s challenges should be based on evidence and procedural claims:
Many times in cases like this there are peripheral “co-conspirators” who were simply doing what their superiors told them to do without knowledge that this high scale theft was part of a bigger money-making scheme. Prosecutors may overlook those facts, casting as wide a net as possible. In doing so, weak cases may be pushed as part of the public relations campaign put on for the media. Following coverage of raids and arrests, the media is nowhere to be found when defense attorneys are successful in having the charges reduced or dismissed because of a lack of evidence or other weakness in the state’s case.
One has one choice of relief in a situation like this. One charged with a crime of this nature should contact an experienced Jacksonville drug crimes defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected. One can either sit back and wait for the Judge to render a decision against one, or one can take charge of one’s defense and win one’s cause for freedom.
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: Florida man admits role in prescription med theft, San Francisco Chronicle