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Florida drug bust nets over $1 million in drugs and cash

Any drug crime is a serious offense, and many crimes involving drugs carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence if the defendant is found guilty. This is especially true when the accusations being levied involve the distribution and sale of large quantities of illegal drugs.

The result of a year-long criminal investigation in Florida led to Tuesday's bust that yielded more than $1 million in drugs and cash, putting a dent in two Jacksonville drug crews. The bust led to the seizure of 24 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $880,000. Cash in the amount of $386,000 was also seized along with marijuana, weapons and vehicles. Police estimate that another $100,000 may be added to the bust's totals when bank accounts from those accused in the drug ring are seized.

The operation, which was dubbed Operation Déjà Vu, focused on 14 suspects, although only 10 were arrested. Four other suspects, including the leader of the operation, are still at large. The investigation involved authorities at the local, state and federal level and began in the early part of 2013. Police say the so-called "kingpin" of the drug ring eluded them last spring when officers tried to effect a traffic stop. The kingpin and another unnamed person in a separate vehicle eluded police and allegedly tossed four pounds of cocaine as they fled.

Police say that a warehouse in Jacksonville was used to store the crew's money. The cocaine is thought to have been routed to Jacksonville from Miami.

Regardless of drug crime accusations, those accused have the right to a proper defense under the law. In serious criminal cases like this one, it is important that the alleged offender's rights are not imperiled and that a defense is formulated that can possibly lessen any negative outcome of criminal proceedings.

Source: The Florida Times-Union, "Jacksonville police, others bust 2 drug crews, seize $880k in cocaine, $386k in cash" Jim Schoettler, Mar. 25, 2014

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