Florida authorities and those in the federal government are aggressively pursuing drug traffickers these days. According to news reports, there have been at least four significant drug trafficking arrests in the state since July.
The haul from three regular busts and an undercover sting operation, when compared to some of the mega-busts that you see on the news these days, isn’t that large. It netted authorities:
- Nine arrests, including three United States citizens and six Mexican nationals
- Total cash of $250,000 that was presumably intended to be used to buy cocaine
- Forty pounds of methamphetamine
- Four pounds of heroin
The arrests have three important things in common: They all took place in the suburbs, in public places that were in clear view of family restaurants, shopping centers and gas stations, none of the suspects were native to Florida and the arrests all netted the authorities a considerable financial haul.
While the authorities declined to be interviewed about the issue, the suspicion is that federal authorities are helping the sheriff’s offices in Florida skirt a state law that made it harder for the local police to seize the assets of suspected traffickers. Civil asset forfeiture is one of the biggest weapons in the arsenal authorities can use against suspected drug traffickers — although the process is believed to be heavily abused. Because of those abuses, Florida banned it in most cases back in 2016. However, federal law supersedes the state’s law. As long as the feds are handed a cut of the proceeds of an asset seizure, the money and goods can be taken.
Many factors can influence a drug case — including political and financial ones. Talk to an attorney who understands the complexities of a drug trafficking charge to best protect your rights.