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UPS package leads to multiple drug trafficking arrests in Orlando

A package filled with 18 pounds of marijuana was intercepted at an Orlando area UPS center late last year. The drugs were headed to the Hyatt Regency Hotel on International Drive. In order to hide their alleged drug trafficking efforts, the individuals who shipped the marijuana reportedly employed several techniques to double package and seal the marijuana to prevent authorities from detecting it.

However, after investigators intercepted the package, they say they resealed it and had it delivered to its intended recipient -- a man at a hotel along International Drive. Authorities continued to watch packages being sent to the man, who allegedly received them at the hotel and then delivered them to different Central Florida locations. Police believe that marijuana -- reportedly valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars -- was distributed by the man.

Law enforcement officials’ code-name for their investigation was Operation Hotel California. The effort resulted in the arrest of a man who lives in California, a Central Florida resident, several associates and many more. Several of the those detained have been charged with racketeering, which means they could be punished with a 30-year prison sentence if convicted.

Drug trafficking across state lines is a serious federal offense that comes with the threat of stiff punishment for those who are convicted. Nevertheless, accused individuals remain innocent in the eyes of the law. Indeed, proving a defendant to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt -- as is required by law before any punishments can be issued -- is often difficult for the prosecution to achieve, especially if the accused individual employs a focused and strategic criminal defense.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Marijuana arrives in Orlando via 'unique' method", Amy Pavuk, Aug. 19, 2014

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Marijuana arrives in Orlando via 'unique' method", Amy Pavuk, Aug. 19, 2014

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Ian F. Mann PA

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Fort Myers, FL 33901

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