Bricks of cocaine wash ashore in St. Johns County

September 27, 2013

Heavy rains not only flooded local streets, but they also washed more than a dozen bricks of cocaine from the Atlantic Ocean onto beaches in St. Johns County. A man found two individually wrapped packages about 30 feet from one another near a St. Augustine boat ramp and called police, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police fanned out and conducted their own search, finding a total of 16 packages between St. Augustine Beach and Crescent Beach - each weighing about two pounds, the newspaper reported. The drugs have a street value of about $500,000, the newspaper reported.

Similar bricks of cocaine washed to shore in St. Johns County earlier this year and police haven't said if they are related, the newspaper reported. In that St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case, $7.5 million in cocaine was found. Proving the source of the drugs in this case to the point of actually being able to make arrests and bring St. Johns County Drug Crimes charges could be difficult, but it's the next step in the case. St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case can be very serious and, as in all drug cases, the charges and penalties are based on two main factors: the type of drug and how much of it the suspect is accused of having. A person can be charged with drug trafficking even if there is no evidence of the suspect selling the drug or arranging to have it sold. In this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case, even one of the bricks would be enough to face a trafficking charge, which is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. Because the amount falls between 400 grams and 150 kilograms (about 330 pounds), there is a 15-year minimum mandatory prison sentence that would apply. Again, that penalty is for just one of the bricks in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case, not all 16 of them.

Trafficking amounts vary based on the type of drug and, with cocaine, start at 28 grams. Compare that with marijuana, which is a misdemeanor possession up until 28 grams, when possession becomes a felony. Trafficking penalties start at 25 pounds - more than 400 times the amount where trafficking begins in St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases involving cocaine. Cocaine charges are very serious and often trigger minimum mandatory sentences - even with what may seem to be a minimal amount of the drug.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.