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Florida fireman arrested on drug trafficking charges

A firefighter from Pinellas Park has resigned, following accusations that he was selling prescription drugs. The 38-year-old Florida man turned his resignation letter into his employer on a recent Wednesday. At this time, he faces 16 counts of drug trafficking and/or drug possession.

The firefighter, who also served as a SWAT paramedic, was taken into custody on a recent Saturday. Police arrested him in the parking lot of a hospital. Authorities claim that he had 184 pills on his person at the time of his arrest. Among the different prescription medications he allegedly had were morphine, hydromorphone and Oxycontin.

As a result of the arrest, the man’s medical license has been suspended, and he was removed from duty and put on paid leave while a formal investigation into his conduct is completed. As of Thursday morning, July 17, the man was still being held at the jailhouse in Pinellas County. No reports indicated whether he had obtained legal representation for the purpose of defending himself against the criminal allegations.

Florida drug trafficking charges can range in severity depending on the facts surrounding the arrest and what kind of drugs (if any) were allegedly found on the individual who was arrested. Depending on the nature of the arrest -- and depending on the accused person’s criminal background record and the type and schedule of drugs involved -- separate drug trafficking cases will be handled differently and have different likely outcomes. For example, if evidence is strong against the accused, he or she may wish to try to reach a plea-bargaining arrangement with the prosecution, wherein the accused would plead guilty to one or more crimes in exchange for a lessoning of punishment and/or a chance to avoid spending time in jail. In cases where the evidence is weak, on the other hand, the accused may be able to succeed in getting his charges dropped or dismissed altogether.

Source: Miami Herald, "Fla. paramedic resigns after drug arrest", , July 17, 2014

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