Miami-Dade Police Arrest Two in Fentanyl Trafficking Bust

November 22, 2023 Criminal Defense, Drug Charges

Out of all the various drug offenses, drug trafficking is the most severe due to its mass form of distribution. In recent years, Florida and the rest of the United States has experienced an uprise in controlled substances, namely, fentanyl.

Two brothers in South Florida were recently arrested and charged with drug trafficking after an undercover police investigation seized more than $400,000 worth of fentanyl pills. This page will provide the case details along with the enhanced penalties for trafficking fentanyl in Florida.

Case Details

The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) worked alongside the Organized Crime Bureau and the Narcotics Section to conduct an undercover investigation into potential fentanyl trafficking.

According to the MDPD news release, the undercover investigators agreed  to purchase 10,000 fentanyl pills that were worth an estimated $440,000. The undercover officers provided a predetermined location in Miami-Dade where the transaction would be completed.

Once the suspects agreed to the price and location, they allegedly drove across the country, from California to Florida, to make the exchange. When the two suspects arrived, they removed a spare tire from inside their vehicle, which contained multiple vacuum-sealed bags containing Fentanyl M30 pills inside.

Police arrested David Hernandez, 22, and Justin Hernandez, 19, without incident and both were charged with trafficking fentanyl. The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue uncovered two more bags of Fentanyl M30 pills that were vacuum-sealed and hidden inside the tire.

The following is a statement by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava:

“I am extremely proud of our world class Police Department and their commitment to fighting crime, protect[ing] residents[,] and ensuring the safety of our community. This operation is proof of the exemplary work MDPD is doing to stop the Fentanyl epidemic that is affecting so many in our community.”

One Pill Can Kill

The Department of Justice stresses that street bought pills are dangerous and can often lead to fatal outcomes. Fentanyl is cheap, and its high potency can be diluted with other cutting agents to make counterfeit prescriptions such as:

  • Oxycodone
  • Percocet
  • Xanax
  • Other prescription drugs

The DOJ further explains that “M30s” refer to fake prescription pills that are meant to imitate Oxycodone obtained through a pharmacy. However, when found on the street, it likely contains fentanyl. M30s can be spotted by their round tablet shape and light blue color; although, they can be found in multiple shapes and colors, which can make it difficult to track.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), there were more than 59.6 million fentanyl-laced pills, and more than 13,000 pounds of fentanyl powder seized by the DEA. So far in 2023, the DEA has seized 62 million fentanyl pills. Out of every 10 pills seized, the DEA indicated that 7 pills contain a lethal dose of fentanyl.

The DEA states that a person only needs to ingest 2mg of fentanyl—which is about the length of a pencil tip—for it to kill an average American.

To combat the growing issue of fentanyl being sold around the country, the state of Florida has established harsher penalties for those caught in the possession of fentanyl.

New Fentanyl Laws in Florida

In May 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation to crack down on the distribution of opioids.

HB 95 created new recommendations for the Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse, a committee put together by DeSantis back in 2019. Under HB 95, the following changes have been made:

  • Mandatory minimum sentencing for fentanyl trafficking Increased – HB 95 increases the mandatory sentencing for trafficking 4-14 grams of fentanyl to 7 years in prison, and the mandatory sentencing for trafficking 14-28 grams of fentanyl to 15 years in prison;
  • Methamphetamine Distribution Penalties – Methamphetamine is added to the list of controlled substances where, if the substance results in the death of another person, the person who distributed such substance can face charges for first-degree felony murder; and
  • Enhanced Penalties for Drug Distribution – Florida Statute Section 893.13 is amended to increase the penalties from a third- or second-degree felony to a second- or first-degree felony when a controlled substance is distributed within 1,000 feet of any of the following specified locations:
    • Childcare facility;
    • Public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school;
    • State, county, or municipal park;
    • Community center or publicly owned recreational facility;
    • Public or private college, university, or other postsecondary institution;
    • Place of worship that conducts religious services;
    • Convenience business;
    • Public housing facility; or
    • Assisted living facility.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney near me

Accusations of drug offenses are prosecuted harshly in the state of Florida. Cases involving fentanyl are of extreme seriousness, especially with Florida legislators pushing for the emergency banning of synthetic drugs in 2022. Facing criminal prosecution for any type of drug charge is understandably stressful and anxiety ridden.

The benefits of hiring a defense attorney to represent your case include having a professional who is knowledgeable in all aspects of Florida’s laws and criminal penalties, analyzing the case details to search for holes or inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, and fighting during trial (if necessary) to beat the charges against you and win back your freedom.

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for a crime relating to fentanyl or other controlled substances, contact the drug charge attorneys with Pumphrey Law Firm. We provide new clients with a free case consultation when you call (850) 681-7777 or leave us a message online.

Written by Karissa Key

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