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3 charged in connection with Florida drug trafficking

Authorities say they have seized 16 kilograms of cocaine and a variety of other items in connection with a massive drug bust in Florida. Three defendants have been charged with federal offenses in connection with the drug crimes. The three men are facing federal drug trafficking charges after reportedly transporting cocaine between Miami and Orlando.

In all, the three men are facing drug charges of conspiracy with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine hydrochloride. One of the men is also accused of weapons violations because he was a felon allegedly in possession of a firearm.

Officers say they seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, a modest amount of heroin and an expensive sports car in addition to the large haul of drugs. The defendants are accused of driving tractor-trailer rigs full of cocaine from another state into Florida. The drugs were then apparently held at a ranch in Orlando before distribution.

Authorities reportedly placed a GPS tracker on the defendant's semi-truck after receiving information from two confidential informants. The officers were able to trail the driver and another man to an area residence, where they conducted a search of the premises. There, they found a significant amount of cocaine. They also discovered that one of the men was planning to sell some of the drugs to another person, and they arranged a sting to capture the unsuspecting buyer.

In this case, it appears that the defendants consented to have their property searched by officers when they arrived on the scene. However, it is critical to determine whether the officers actually complied with rules governing a criminal investigation. Even federal defendants have the right to a fair legal proceeding; that starts with their arrest and the potential for search and seizure violations.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "16 kilos of cocaine, 8 grams of heroin, cash seized by DEA in Orlando drug bust" David Harris, Jun. 04, 2014

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