Frank A. Rubino, ESQ.

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Interagency Investigation in Florida Leads to Drug Conviction

Increasingly, enforcement agencies are working together in drug trafficking cases. One way they do this is through running investigations jointly. Also, they are increasingly willing to share information with each other when it comes to pursuing those accused of trafficking. The effects of this cooperation can be seen in a recent Florida drug trafficking case.

This case involves an Orange County man accused of drug trafficking. He was one of seventeen people arrested earlier this year for involvement in a drug ring. Specifically, he was believed to be a supplier for an area drug kingpin. The kingpin himself was later arrested as part of the same investigation.

The man was arrested as part of an investigation named "Operation White Smoke." This investigation involved the cooperation of many different agencies. Those involved included: the DEA, the FBI, city investigators, local police and other government entities.

This joint investigation largely consisted of monitoring the activities of the suspected members of the drug ring. This surveillance occurred over many months, and was conducted by several of the cooperating agencies. The different agencies then compiled their observations in order to bring about the arrests. "Operation White Smoke" is given primary credit in the arrests of all involved in the ring.

This week, the Orange County man who was arrested under this operation was convicted of conspiracy to traffic drugs. He will likely be sentenced to serve fifteen to thirty years in prison. This conviction would have been much more difficult to obtain without interagency cooperation.

This case demonstrates government agencies' increasing willingness to work together in drug related investigations. We will likely see more operations like "Operation White Smoke" in the future, for both state and federal charges.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Officials: Suspect in Central Florida drug investigation convicted on trafficking charge," Jeff Weiner, 16 Nov 2010

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