January 24, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Florida police cease criticized cocaine reverse stings---
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There is no denying that drug trafficking is widespread in Florida, and as many people in areas like Lee County know, the consequences of a drug-related conviction can be severe. The serious state effort given to drug crime enforcement was recently brought to light with reports of police in Sunrise, Florida, engaging in reverse cocainestings that the media described as controversial. Although these operations have ceased, it is still important for people in any part of Florida to be extremely careful and, if necessary, seek qualified help in the event of an arrest relating to drug possession or distribution.
Reverse stings cause controversy
According to Fox News, in fall 2013, Florida's Sun-Sentinel revealed the results of an investigation of police and detectives operating in Sunrise, Florida. The report alleges that authorities in Sunrise would pay informants and then draw in the buyers that they discovered around the country. Authorities would pose as detectives selling cocaine and, if the reverse sting was successful, arrest the buyers and seize assets such as cars and money. The arrest figures and financial sums are not trivial:
-Since 2009, 190 people have been arrested in Sunrise for cocaine trafficking.
-Only seven of those people were Sunrise residents.
-In two years, over $5.8 million was seized, representing the largest seizure in Palm and Broward counties.
-More than $800,000 was spent paying informants.
Critics questioned whether authorities had a profit motive in making so many arrests, and the stings stopped following the Sun-Sentinel investigation. However, the end of these reverse stings does not mean that Floridians have cause to stop worrying about drug arrests and their consequences.
Florida drug crimes carry steep consequences
Although drug crimes are not a new issue in Florida, these crimes may be punished more harshly now than they were in the past. The Huffington Post reported in 2012 that, over roughly two decades, the time that Floridian prisoners spent incarcerated for nonviolent crimes increased by 194 percent. From 1990 to 2009, the average incarceration length for someone convicted of drug crimes grew from 9 months to 2.3 years.
The study results are a few years old, but drug trafficking is not being taken any less seriously in Florida today. Any offense involving cocaine is a felony, and convictions involving illegal or prescription drugs can carry steep minimum fines and prison times. This makes it important for anyone who is accused of drug trafficking in Florida to seek qualified legal help.
The recent publicity given to the reverse stings conducted in Sunrise reflects the fact that occasionally, authorities engage in practices that may be considered questionable. In other cases, law enforcement officials make mistakes that violate the rights of the accused and invalidate any findings. People who have been accused of drug crimes may be unaware of these breaches without the help of a legal professional.
If you are facing any kind of drug-related charges, make sure to speak with an experienced Florida defense attorney about your rights and your options for disputing the charges.
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