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Articles Posted in St. Lucie County

Two women have been arrested after Palm Beach County deputies charged them in a string of burglaries across four counties.

Palm Beach deputies arrested the two women, both 21, for allegedly burglarizing different business and stealing cars.

According to the affidavit, the string of burglaries began in July 2016 and included crimes in Brevard, Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach and Broward counties. Some of the targets included restaurants, computer stores and jewelry stores.

Deputies say that the two women used a pickax to commit the burglaries.

Warrants for the two women were issued in September last year.

Deputies charged both women with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Their arraignment is set for Thursday.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act was enacted in 1970 to allow federal prosecutors to pursue and charge those involved in organized criminal activity. In Florida, racketeering is aggressively prosecuted and a conviction can lead to severe penalties, such as years behind bars, hefty fines and even asset forfeiture.

Racketeering charges are often brought after a long investigation, and a RICO defense is usually complex. Only an experienced, You need a trial lawyer who has the experience and skill needed to prevent a conviction. Our South Florida Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are well-versed in defending those facing racketeering charges. As former prosecutors, we know how the State will prepare and prosecute its case.

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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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