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2 separate drug raids result in arrest of 21 people

The Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team raided a Florida home and took nine people into custody on Feb. 20 after neighbors complained about possible drug activity. The individuals, who ranged in age from 23 to 39 and included both men and women, faced a number of charges, including drug possession, the sale of crack cocaine and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony. Active arrest warrants were in place for at least three people, two of whom lived at the residence. Six additional people were detained after they attempted to buy drugs from the other parties.

The search reportedly yielded 16 grams of marijuana, 26 prescription pills, 13 grams of crack cocaine, 6 grams of powder cocaine, three guns and $2,000. Some of the contraband was found in a truck parked at the residence. Authorities further related that two minor children were present in the home; they were turned over to the custody of relatives.

In an unrelated raid in mid-February, Marion County officials held a dozen people after a month-long investigation resulted in the confiscation of drugs that were sent through federal mail. Authorities suspected that only three of the people were working together while the others were selling drugs independently. Authorities reportedly used a canine to help with the search. They seized 20 packages that included cocaine, Molly, prescription drugs, marijuana, synthetic marijuana and five weapons worth an estimated $1 million. When they went to the residence, a man, later determined to have previous felony convictions, opened the door holding what appeared to be marijuana.

In some cases, authorities overstep their boundaries when they conduct a search. A criminal defense attorney might be able to show that a search warrant wasn't valid, which could lead to a dismissal of the evidence in the case.

Source: WESH.com, "12 arrested in Marion County investigation," Melissa Catalanotto, Feb. 19, 2014

Source: WESH, "9 arrested in Ocala drug bust", Melissa Catalanotto, February 21, 2014

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