Accusations of criminal drug-related activity are not always confined to everyday citizens. There have been incidents when uniformed law enforcement agents in Florida or elsewhere in the United States have been named as participants in federal drug trafficking crimes. Understandably, a person facing such charges has his or her personal and professional reputation on the line.
A police veteran who served more than two decades on the Miami force was sentenced by a federal judge on a recent Wednesday morning. His wife reportedly sat silently with her eyes closed, nearby in the courtroom. The judge ordered the man to serve 10 years in prison for his role in helping a group of drug smugglers avoid security at major airports.
Prosecutors claimed that the defendant also aided drug smugglers in moving illicit profits worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The man admitted to having a drinking problem that he was having difficulty handling. He told the court that he had behaved foolishly. After the sentence was handed down, the former lieutenant and his wife were seen embracing one another.
Once a conviction for federal drug trafficking is handed down in federal court, whether in Florida or another state, the legal process moves into the sentencing phase. Along with any request for post conviction relief, defense counsel typically focuses on attempting to convince the court to hand down a sentence below or toward the lower end of the federal sentencing guidelines for the crime involved. In this case, the man received a sentence that was described as in the middle range of the guidelines. The 10-year term was also substantially less than the prison term the man faced were he to be convicted on all of the charges originally filed against him.
Source: sun-sentinel.com, "Ex-Miami officer nicknamed 'Milk Man' admitted to being part of drug smuggling ring", David Porter, Dec. 2, 2015