Police in Eustis recently concluded what they described as an "extensive investigation" by arresting three men and a woman whom they believe were selling drugs.
People in Florida convicted of drug crimes often face stiff penalties. Part of their punishment usually includes time behind bars. However, is that really the best place for them?
Federal criminal court trials rarely result in an acquittal on all charges. But that is exactly what a U.S. District Court jury did in the case involving a truck driver accused of smuggling drugs while transporting orange juice to Florida. The case involved charges of three counts of felony federal drug charges, including smuggling. The drugs in question were roughly 5,000 pills of psychedelic tryptamine, which were found in plastic zip-lock bags behind a panel in the suspect's truck.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Florida State Senator Rob Cole has introduced legislation which would make possession of synthetic marijuana marketed under the names "spice" and "K-2" illegal, as well as a number of other substances. Possession of these substances would carry a penalty of up to a year in jail and those caught selling or manufaturing these drugs could be charge with a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
You probably recall last May's infamous Miami story of a naked man who attacked a homeless man and chewed off his face. It was blamed on a synthetic variant of the drug methylenedioxypyrovalerone, otherwise known as "bath salts," although it was later learned that the notorious naked man, who was killed by police, had nothing but marijuana in his system.
A controversial Florida law is currently being challenged before a federal appeals court. The state law aims to withhold benefits from welfare applicants who may be guilty of certain drug crimes by requiring that they purchase and pass a drug screening test before they may be granted food stamps, child care subsidies and other welfare benefits.
A Kissimmee man accused of lying about being robbed and assaulted during an attempted drug buy was recently taken into custody.
Orange County Commissioners voted to limit and regulate where new pain management clinics can open. New pain clinics will now be restricted to industrial zoning areas. These new restrictions were recommendations based upon Orange County's prescription drug task force and is an attempt to limit prescription pill abuse.
I figured that i would not be a very good criminal defense attorney if I did not at least acknowledge the holiday that many people in this country celebrate. Am I talking about Earth Day? Nope. I'm talking about Marijuana appreciation day. For some reason, and the stories of the how this date came about are as varied as the strains of cannabis, April 20 has become a day to celebrate pot and to protest it's illegal. All over the country there are groups who participate in this annual event and light up.
Ever since GPS trackers entered the retail market, law enforcement has been searching for ways to maneuver it into their criminal and drug crimes investigation arsenal. Over the years, I have had several clients inform me that they have found a mysterious device on their vehicle. After a clear inspection and even a quick Google search of the model number, we are able to positively confirm we found a GPS device. It's amazing to me that law enforcement thought they could legally attach these devices to suspects vehicles and track there every move without violating the individuals constitutional rights. The United States Supreme Court has finally set law the record straight. In US v. Jones, the Court said that the government must get a warrant to put a GPS tracker on citizens' vehicles. The Courts ruling indicated that without a warrant, these devices violate the reasonable expectation of privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. As soon as this happened, law enforcement across the country had to scramble in order to obtain warrants for the active GPS trackers out in the field. The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI alone had to turn off 3,000 GPS trackers. The FBI later retracted and said they were not exactly sure the numbers regarding the GPA trackers. I am not sure what is scarier, the fact that the FBI does not have a clue of the number of trackers or the fact that there are so many active, the agency cannot keep valid numbers. The bottom line is that federal agents and local law enforcement agencies are seriously taking advantage of this GPS technology. We are now starting to see law enforcement attempt to track individuals through the personal handheld devices, such as cell phones. Criminal lawyers across the country will continue to attack the this invasion of privacy. While a couple of courts are in conflict over this issue, I am confident the courts will make this right with a clear ruling this is a 4th amendment violation.