There is an old saying that “The wheels of justice turn slowly.” The validity of this statement is evidenced by a recent news account of the arrest of a Broward County man after investigation, which lasted 18 months.
The accused has a home in Hollywood where, according to investigators, he conducted a thriving business from his driveway selling large amounts of heroin and cocaine as well as firearms, at least some of which were apparently stolen. Police were tipped off to his activities by a confidential source who claimed that he purchased cocaine from him in quantities sufficient for resale activity. Thereafter began an investigation involving additional purchases of drugs and firearms by the informant as well as undercover agents which tallied up to $60,000 over a year and a half before law enforcement finally moved into make an arrest. According to prosecutors, the suspect may have sold more than $400,000 worth of contraband during that time period.
The tally of criminal accusations being brought against the defendant include federal charges for drug trafficking, illegal firearms trafficking, being a felon in possession of a weapon and fraud in connection with Social Security benefits. In addition to significant prison time and financial penalties if convicted, the accused – a citizen of Cuba living in Florida without proper immigration documentation – may also face deportation.
Criminal investigations may take what can seem to be an inordinate length of time while law enforcement gathers evidence sufficient to construct what prosecutors believe will be an airtight case. Whether their case against the defendant is as open and shut as they would like it to be is a matter of objective inquiry grounded in constitutional rights. Police and prosecutors may make a mistake during the investigation or the arrest that an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to identify in an effort to reduce charges against his or her client or possibly even result in them being dropped altogether.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “Broward man sold drugs in stolen guns in his driveway, feds say,” Paula McMahon, Nov. 19, 2015