Recent Drug Busts in Tallahassee

July 17, 2023 Criminal Defense, Drug Charges, News & Announcements

Florida takes a harsh stance against controlled substances. Those involved in the sale or distribution of unlawful substances may face prosecution in both State and Federal court for drug trafficking.

The following lists two recent drug busts in Tallahassee along with relative information on drug trafficking in Florida.

Case Details

  • Operation Agua AzulThe Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has arrested over 50 people in relation to the drug investigation titled “Operation Agua Azul.” The investigation began in 2019 and spanned across six counties: Jackson, Gadsden, Liberty, and Calhoun counties along with Southern Alabama.

“This joint federal, state, and local cooperative targeted drug trafficking west of Tallahassee, particularly in Jackson County,” said the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

So far, the investigation has led to obtaining 35 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, multiple kilograms of cocaine, multiple ounces of fentanyl, over 60 firearms and over $100,000. However, the State Attorney’s Office says there are still more drugs to be calculated. While the specific charges have not yet been released, the report indicates that arrestees will face both state and federal charges.

  • 55-Year-Old Convicted of Drug TraffickingA large-scale investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office, Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Perry Police Department, NorthStar Drug Task Force, and the Wakulla, Bay, Gulf, and Leon County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the federal grand jury indictment of a Perry woman. Miranda Stafford, 55, has been arrested on federal drug trafficking charges. Stafford is accused of selling over 50 grams of meth between March and April and conspiring to sell over 500 grams of meth. If convicted, Stafford faces up to 25 years in federal prison.

State Drug Trafficking Laws

Florida Statute Section 893.03 covers Florida’s drug schedule for each type of controlled substance based on its potential for medical use and abuse.

The state of Florida takes drug-related offenses very seriously. Drug trafficking is considered one of the most severe drug charges and can be prosecuted by both State and Federal courts. Drug trafficking refers to the illegal manufacturing, distributing, selling, or transporting of controlled substances. The penalties for a person charged with drug trafficking varies depending on the type and quantity of the controlled substance.

The following lists key factors related to drug trafficking charges in Florida:

  • Mandatory minimum sentencing – When a defendant is convicted of drug trafficking, there are mandatory minimum sentences in which the judge must impose a minimum term of imprisonment based on the type and amount of controlled substance involved.
  • Thresholds for drug trafficking – Florida has specific thresholds to determine if the quantity in their possession constitutes a drug trafficking charge. The following lists the thresholds for each controlled substance:
    • Cannabis: 25lbs or 300 plants
    • Cocaine: 28 grams
    • Fentanyl: 4 grams
    • GHB: 1 kilogram
    • Hydrocodone: 14 grams
    • Heroin: 4 grams
    • LSD: 1 gram
    • MDMA: 10 grams
    • Oxycodone: 7 grams
  • Potential penalties – A defendant who is convicted of drug trafficking can face lengthy imprisonment, fines, and probation. The exact sentence will be based on the quantity and type of drug involved. Other factors, such as prior convictions, can also impact the penalties.
  • Federal involvement – Drug trafficking can be prosecuted at both state and federal levels. However, federal drug trafficking charges typically carry harsher penalties, including lengthier prison sentences and fines.
  • Enhanced penalties – Certain factors in the drug trafficking case may result in enhanced penalties. This may include drug trafficking near schools or involving minors.

It’s important to remember that each drug trafficking case will vary in its specific details and circumstances. If you are facing drug-related charges, contact an experienced Florida defense attorney who can review your case and strategize a defense plan.

Defenses to Drug Trafficking

Considering that drug trafficking has extremely harsh penalties, it is important to get ahead of the charges by consulting with a defense attorney. The following lists potential defenses to use against a drug trafficking charge:

  • Law enforcement conducted an illegal search and seizure without a valid warrant or probable cause;
  • The defendant lacked knowledge or intent;
  • Law enforcement coerced or induced the defendant to engage in a crime they would not have otherwise committed, also referred to as entrapment;
  • Challenging the prosecution’s ability to prove constructive possession;
  • The defendant’s constitutional rights were violated during the arrest, questioning, or processing of evidence; or
  • The defendant’s identity was mistaken for the person who committed drug trafficking.

Consult with an experienced Tallahassee drug crimes defense attorney to discuss the details of your case and to build a defense strategy.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or someone you love is accused of possessing, manufacturing, or distributing drugs, you should prioritize speaking with a defense attorney. You could be facing criminal prosecution at both state and federal levels, which can result in extensive imprisonment, expensive fines, probation, or all the above. Working with a defense attorney who is knowledgeable in drug offense will help to build a defense to fight the charges against you.

Don Pumphrey and his team represent those in need of criminal defense across Tallahassee and the surrounding North Florida area. We will provide you will support and legal guidance during this challenging time. Our goal is to help you build a defense to get the charges lessened or dropped completely. Contact Pumphrey Law Firm today at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message for a free consultation.

Written by Karissa Key

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