Frank A. Rubino, ESQ.

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Police suddenly fall ill during federal drug trafficking raid

Many sudden, unexpected circumstances can arise when police enter a residence to conduct a search. While some federal drug trafficking situations develop without issue, others quickly become dangerous or even life-threatening to those involved. Recently, a SWAT team outside Florida faced challenges they had never before encountered on the job.

The officers were sent to a particular location to conduct a suspected drug raid. After they reportedly burst through the door of the residence, they began to fall ill. Many of them experienced nausea, sore throats, headaches and dizziness. They were treated and released from a local hospital. 

What appears to have made the drug task force officers sick is a cloud of dust particles created from the drugs fentanyl and/or heroin. Many law enforcement agencies have been warning their officers about the potential dangers of exposure to fentanyl, a drug considered even more potent than heroin. A federal spokesman said all agents are told to be extra cautious these days.

During the recent raid, approximately 50,000 bags of heroin, fentanyl, firearms and packaging materials often associated with federal drug trafficking were allegedly seized. Three people were placed under arrest. In Florida and throughout the nation, prosecution for offenses involving heavy narcotics is often quite aggressive, with federal attorneys pushing for maximum possible penalties if convictions are handed down. A criminal lawyer experienced at going up against such vigorous opposition in court may be able to help a defendant avoid conviction, or at least convince the court to issue a lighter sentence if a conviction is rendered.

Source: detroitnews.com, "11 Conn. cops sickened during heroin and fentanyl bust", Sept. 14, 2016

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Coral Gables Office

Frank A. Rubino, Esq.
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