In many cases, charges related to drug offenses are only brought against an individual after a prolonged investigation. Therefore, the authorities and prosecutors often believe that they have ample evidence to obtain a conviction. While this may be true in some instances, it is not always the case. In fact, sometimes police officers overstep their bounds and conduct illegal search and seizures, or they base their investigations on the word of witnesses who lack credibility. Even when the evidence seems stacked against an accused individual, strong criminal defense options may be available.
A number of Floridians may need to carefully consider those options now after the culmination of a three-month long investigation called Operation Triple Beam. According to reports, the Fort Myers Police Department cooperated with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to initiate well over 100 local arrests for drug crimes and weapons offenses. Apparently, as many as 90% of those arrests occurred in the Fort Myers area.
The charges levied against those who were taken into custody vary. Some were charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and the sale of narcotics. Many of those involved in the sweep were also picked up on weapons charges. The Operation was another attempt by law enforcement to rid the streets of drugs, which may mean that they are looking to “flip” some of these arrestees in hopes of catching who they believe are more serious drug crime offenders.
A drug crime conviction can result in serious penalties. Those who are convicted may face prison time, serious fines and damage to their reputation that may be unsalvageable. This is why those who are accused of a drug crime need to aggressively defend themselves, whether that means taking the matter to trial or negotiating a plea deal that reduces or eliminates the harshest penalties sought by prosecutors. To better determine which type of defense strategy fits one’s circumstances, it may be best to discuss these matters with a skilled criminal defense attorney.