Articles Posted in Drug Crimes

A Miami-Dade County doctor was arrested Tuesday after state prosecutors said she illegally prescribed opioid drugs to a patient, resulting in the woman’s death.

The 48-year-old doctor faces charges of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone and delivery of oxycodone.

In March, Monroe County sheriff’s deputies found a 35-year-old woman dead at her home in Key Largo. Her body was found next to a bottle of oxycodone and the doctor had written the prescription the day before. A toxicology report determined that the woman died of an overdose of oxycodone and alprazolam, a sedative sold under the brand name Xanax.

After an investigation involving the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, authorities allege they discovered that the deceased and the doctor conspired to traffic narcotics. Prosecutors claim that text messages between the two showed that the doctor provided prescriptions at the woman’s request, even delivering the prescription to her home.

The doctor received a portion of the medications after she prescribed them to the woman, prosecutors allege.

On Tuesday afternoon, the doctor was held on $100,000 bond at Miami-Dade County’s Turner Guilford Knight Correction Center. She appeared in bond court Wednesday morning, at which time a Miami-Dade County judge ordered that she be placed on house arrest with a GPS monitor if she posts bail.  

When you think of drug crimes, prescription pills are not usually the first to come to mind. Prescription drugs are considered controlled substances under Florida law, so if you have been arrested for a prescription drug offense, it is important that you have an experienced South Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton representing you from the start.

We have extensive experience with doctors being involved in prescription drug offenses, and we have a built a strong track record of achieving successful outcomes for our clients. Our experience includes the resolution of drug crimes cases involving all types of prescription drugs, including Vicodin, OxyContin, oxycodone, Percocet, Valium, Hydrocodone and others.

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A former Miami police officer has been sentenced to 15 ½ years in prison for her apparent involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

Court records show that the woman was sentenced Wednesday in Miami federal court. She previously pleaded guilty to conspiring with other officers to possess cocaine.

Investigators say the woman provided police protection for what she believed were large shipments of cocaine on three occasions last September and October. She received a cash payment of $17,000. The deliveries were arranged by undercover FBI agents.

Cases are still pending against two other former Miami officers.

Drug trafficking charges can lead to serious consequences if convicted. Not only are you looking at a permanent criminal record, but you can also face serious prison time and hefty fines.

Our South Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have helped many clients accused of federal drug charges minimize or eliminate penalties. As former prosecutors, our team of trial lawyers understand what it takes to prepare an effective defense. We use our inside knowledge to anticipate the prosecution’s case and formulate aggressive defense strategies for drug trafficking conspiracy charges. We can also negotiate with prosecutors to reach deals or secure reduced penalties.

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For the third time in less than three months a former University of Miami football player has been arrested.

According to police, former Canes star running back Mark Walton, who now plays for the Cincinnati Bengals, was observed in his vehicle driving very aggressively and illegally.

The 21-year-old now faces felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon, marijuana possession and reckless driving.

These charges are all from a high-speed car chase that took place last month in Miami-Dade County.

Walton has already been involved in two other criminal cases.

One is from February in which he’s accused of snatching a phone from a neighbor at his Brickell condo building during an argument in the parking garage.

Walton is also awaiting trial on a misdemeanor drug charge from an arrest in January.

Felony charges of any kind are serious. Felony crimes are prosecuted heavily in the state of Florida, regardless of the degree of the charge. You could be looking at mandatory minimum prison sentences, large fines, and other severe consequences. The prosecution will stop at nothing to seek the highest levels of punishment for those facing felony crimes, especially if they have a criminal past.

After an arrest for a crime, you need to take appropriate steps to protect yourself. The first thing you should do is call our South Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton. We can help you conduct a thorough investigation of the details surrounding your charges and make sure your rights are protected. It does not matter how severe the charges are that you are facing, we will fight aggressively to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf.

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A school security guard in Miami was arrested at his home Monday on multiple drug charges.

According to an arrest report, the 43-year-old was pulled over in his car soon after undercover detectives allegedly watched as he sold drugs to a man at a gas station near the Hammocks district campus during school hours.

Authorities were made aware of the man’s alleged activity through an anonymous tip, investigators said.

About 1 gram of cocaine and a THC cartridge was found in the center console of his vehicle during the stop, according to police.

Police said a search warrant was later obtained for Green’s home at 14232 SW 154th Court, where about 790 grams of marijuana were allegedly discovered in a drawer next to his bed. About 29.4 grams of cocaine were allegedly found in several areas of his room.

According to the arrest report, inside a safe in his bedroom, investigators found a digital scale with cocaine residue on it, 90 clear blue baggies, and $1,000 in cash. Inside a yellow watch case, there were three baggies containing cocaine, and $230 in cash. Investigators also said they discovered additional baggies of cocaine, and a small brown box on a shelf in the same room containing $660 in cash.

The man was charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession with intent of cocaine, possession of 29.4 grams of cocaine, and possession of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school convenience store. He also faces charges for possession of marijuana and possession of a THC cartridge.

Almost all drug charges are felonies and subject to prison sentences of at least one year in prison. The most serious drug crimes, when coupled with other serious charges, can amount to life in prison.

Certain factors can increase the penalties associated with drug possession. If you are arrested in possession of drugs within 1,500 feet of a school or church, it could double your sentence. If you are illegally in possession of a firearm at the time you are arrested, that can also escalate the penalties you face. Facing multiple charges can result in severe penalties that far exceed what most people expect.

Sentencing guidelines in drug cases can be downright shocking. That is why it is imperative to have a South Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton on your side as soon as possible after an arrest. We will do everything we can to obtain dismissals and not-guilty verdicts whenever possible. We will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.  

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Federal agents arrested about 30 suspects in Broward County and charged them with gun- and drug-trafficking offenses on Wednesday after a two-year undercover investigation targeting gang violence.

Twenty-five of the indicted defendants are felons with a combined history of 426 arrests and 71 convictions, according to authorities.

All of the defendants are supposedly members of the Doom City and Cypress Boys organizations in the Pompano Beach area.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Marshals Service made the arrests and conducted searches, along with the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation started in April of last year and entailed 230 undercover operations, resulting in the purchase and recovery of about 250 firearms, according to reports.

Undercover agents also claim they bought multiple kilos of heroin, cocaine, flakka and marijuana and about 500 oxycodone pills from the two gang organizations.

If firearms are connected in any way to drug crimes charge, you can expect to see an increase in prison time and penalties if convicted. Prosecutors will stop at nothing to make sure maximum consequences are enforced.

Drug and weapons offenses are serious and must be dealt with accordingly. Our South Florida Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can challenge the weapons charges as well as the underlying drug crime you are facing. We serve clients throughout Broward County and all of Florida facing state or federal charges.

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The Florida Supreme Court amended the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure last week, stripping Florida state prosecutors of their discretion to disclose information about informants.  Under a new rule that lifts the curtain on the jailhouse snitches who long have been the source of false testimony in criminal cases,  juries will be provided a more complete picture of the context of an informant’s testimony.

The Innocence Commission estimates that as many as 15 percent of convictions later overturned by DNA testing involved false testimony by informants at trial and that informant perjury was a factor in nearly 50 percent of wrongful murder convictions and in 46 percent of exonerations for death row inmates.

New Procedure rules protect defendants from self-serving informant testimony

New Procedure rules protect defendants from self-serving informant testimony

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office is targeting meth labs and are looking to the community to help them on their quest.

News reports claim that eleven methamphetamine-related arrests in recent months prompted a town hall meeting last week, including a Stuart meth lab that was shut down last month and the recent arrest of a Jensen Beach man who was arrested for running a meth lab out of his home, despite being in a wheelchair.

Authorities credit new laws focused on cracking down on pill mills as contributing to the recent increase of methamphetamine use.

We’ve been keeping tabs on the DOJ’s evolving policy on charging federal drug offenses (see past posts, here and here), and it appears that Attorney General Eric Holder is indeed keeping his promise of instituting charging policies that focus on high-level criminals as well as rehabilitation.   As part of those “Smart on Crime” efforts, the attorney general this past week announced a new policy making it easier for some drug defendants to obtain shorter sentences.

Graph courtesy of TRAC/ Syracuse University

Graph courtesy of TRAC/ Syracuse University

The Huffington Post is reporting that number of defendants charged with federal drug crimes in January dropped to its lowest monthly level in nearly 14 years, not long after AG Holder established a series of changes to the criminal justice system.

On Saturday, dozens of soldiers and police officers descended on a condominium tower in Mazatlán, Mexico, acting on a tip that Joaquín Guzmán Loera — a notorious drug kingpin known as El Chapo— was hiding out in the complex.

El Chapo had eluded such raids for 13 years since escaping from prison, by many accounts in a laundry cart. With an army of guards and enforced loyalty, he reigned over a worldwide, multibillion-dollar drug empire that supplied much of the cocaine and marijuana to the United States.

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Guzmán’s Sinaloa Cartel is considered the largest and most powerful trafficking organization in the world, with a reach as far as Europe and Asia, and has been a main combatant in a spasm of violence that has left tens of thousands dead in Mexico.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department’s initiative, called “Operation Happy Holidays,” resulted in 45 arrests. Port St. Lucie Police, the DEA and FBI  all participated in the operation, including a prostitution sting, highway interdiction, and service of several drug search warrants. 

Police say Operation Happy Holidays focused  on making neighborhoods safer by arresting “potentially dangerous people.”

Port St. Lucie Police Sting nab 45 suspects

Port St. Lucie Police Sting nabs 45 suspects

During the three month operation that began in September, detectives and agents arrested 45 people for charges ranging from drug sale, trafficking heroin and/or methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, cocaine, crack, possession of stolen fire arms and prostitution.  Police collected more than 200 pills, 25 pounds of marijuana, nearly $9,000, five guns, and four vehicles. They also shut down one meth production house in Port St. Lucie and assisted with shutting down two other drug houses in Martin County. 

Police relied heavily on community tips to make these arrests. 

The penalties for drug trafficking in Florida depend on various factors, but the amount of drugs confiscated and the type of type of drug has the most impact on sentences in Florida drug cases. For example, heroin trafficking is the most serious offense and may include a prison sentence of up to 25 years as well as fines of up to $500,000. Trafficking cocaine or marijuana may include a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a $250,000 fine.

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