For decades now, the so-called war on drugs has led to hundreds of thousands of people being imprisoned for drug violations. Jails and prisons across the country are overwhelmed by people convicted of a drug offense, whether that offense was drug trafficking or possession of marijuana.
A recent anti-drug operation has resulted in five arrests in Florida, as well as the issuance of arrest warrants for five more individuals. The arrests and warrants are the culmination of an investigation that took months, during which personnel of the DEA used wiretaps and confidential sources to gather information and evidence against the accused suspects.
In recent years, criminal defense attorneys have argued the defense of "profiling," in which a law enforcement officer stops a suspect based upon the officer’s feeling or intuition that the suspect was in a place or situation that would be unusual for that person.
All individuals have the right to a fair trial and the opportunity to defend themselves against criminal accusations. In some cases, people can have their charges dismissed or seek reduced or alternative sentences. Those who are convicted for drug possession, for example, can arguably be rehabilitated, often through some form of treatment or drug diversion program.
Due to the continuing war on drugs in this country, it can be difficult to defend a case where an individual is caught using or possessing any kind of illegal substance. But drug trafficking is one of the worst offenses in the case of drug charges. While individuals who sell drugs are often users themselves, the idea that they are selling drugs to others often increases the penalties against them. All too often media reports surface that those accused of distributing drugs to others are public figures.
On April 3, Florida police visited the Miami home of rapper Trick Daddy at approximately 10 p.m. When police arrived, the rapper was leaving the premises in his car. The Broward County Drug Task Force stopped him, claiming to have a "sniff warrant" to search the property.
A so-called "grow house" bust in the Florida city of Cape Coral has resulted in a Feb. 27 seizure of marijuana with an estimated street value of $1 million, authorities said. While neighbors reported that a strange smell emanated from the home, they told a local media outlet that they were surprised to hear that an alleged $1 million marijuana growing operation was active close by.
The morning of Jan. 24, police officers executed a search warrant at a residence on Southern Grove Drive in St. Johns County. This raid was the second to occur at the home within one week after neighbors reportedly filed complaints that the residents of the home might be involved in illegal activity. Five individuals now stand accused of committing drug offenses.
A 28-year-old Florida man who had recently won tickets to see the finale of "Breaking Bad" has been accused of drug crimes. On Dec. 31, the man was taken into custody after authorities accused him of distributing synthetic marijuana, also called "Spice," on a large scale. The Lee County Sheriff's Office commented that the arrest would seriously limit the availability of "Spice" within the United States.
Taking to task police who did not check every bag of suspected cocaine in the possession of a 32-year-old Florida man, the Florida Supreme Court threw out the conviction of drug trafficking. The charges of drug trafficking will be lowered to drug possession after the court ruled 5-2 that the Jacksonville man could be tried only for possessing the bags that were tested and came back positive for cocaine. His drug trafficking conviction led to a 15-year prison sentence, but a drug possession conviction brings a maximum sentence of five years.