Articles Posted in Drug Crimes in Jacksonville

A string of undercover operations in Nassau County led to more than 20 arrests on serious felony charges over the past several months.  All of the charges are for selling drugs in what police dubbed Operation No Trap Zone and rolled out to the media this month, complete with 20 mug shots of the people who were arrested, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. All are facing felony charges and there are more than 50 charges combined, the newspaper reported.  The arrests were all made over the past several months, but police often bring them all together in one news release to maximize the attention in the media.

Exact details were not released in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case, but it appears undercover detectives were buying drugs from the people who were arrested. The majority of the charges are for selling cocaine, but other drugs listed in the newspaper report include marijuana and various prescription drugs. Selling cocaine is a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison. The charge can become more severe, depending on where the alleged crime occurs. For example, if the sale is within 1,000 feet of a university, public housing facility, church, school or park, the crime becomes a first-degree felony. At that point, a conviction or guilty plea in a Nassau County Drug Crimes Case carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison.

The same charges and penalties apply for the majority of the other drugs people are accused of selling in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case. The sale of Hydrocodone, Xanax and other prescription drugs is also a second-degree felony. The only drug someone is accused of selling in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case that is not a second-degree felony is marijuana. Sale of marijuana is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. Penalties and sentences vary more in Nassau County Drug Crimes Cases where the issue is possessing drugs – severe penalties kick in much quicker for cocaine and pills that they do for marijuana, for example.  In this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case, it does not appear that this is one large drug operation police have broken up, but rather a series of smaller enterprises. However, with this many arrests and all but one person living in Fernandina Beach, there have to be a few connections. Prosecutors are almost certainly talking to the defendants to see what they know – and if that information is valuable enough to the state to start cutting deals and getting people to testify against each other.  Our Nassau County Drug Crimes Attorney has represented people facing a variety of drug crimes, including possession and sale cases. Our Nassau County Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate your case and provide you with the information you or your loved one need to make a decision on how to proceed.

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 Nassau County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police raided a St. Johns County home this month and removed what they described as a sophisticated marijuana grow operation.  Investigators took dozens of marijuana plants and said they also found what was described as a hash oil extraction system, which extracts the oil from the marijuana plants, according to a report by News4Jax. The couple living in the home was arrested and both are facing three felony charges.  They are charged with producing marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and owning or renting a home with the purpose of manufacturing contraband. All three charges are third-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Both are facing a possibility of 15 years in prison in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case, if convicted and the judge choses to run the sentences consecutively. They are both also charged with one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia, but that’s a minor charge compared with the three felonies.

In St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases, the amount of a drug a person is accused of possessing plays a major role in the charge. For example, growing marijuana can be considered drug trafficking if police find more than 300 plants. That would make the charge a first-degree felony, with a potential sentence of 30 years, not to mention minimum mandatory sentences that come into play. Police initially talked about dozens of plants in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case, so it appears that threshold will not be met.  There are, however, several different charges that can come into play for growing marijuana, as evidenced in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case. On top of the three charges that have been filed, it will be worth watching to see if prosecutors end up filing additional charges related to the hash oil. If prosecutors can prove what it was being used for, prosecutors may be able to charge it separately because it could be seen legally as a separate drug and a separate product. Initial media reports did not indicate the people living in the home were selling the marijuana and neighbors did not talk about people coming in and out of the home as they would typically do if it was a place where people were frequently buying drugs.  Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney represents people facing all types of drug charges, from misdemeanor possession charges on up to trafficking. Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney is experienced in investigating drug charges and will thoroughly examine the details of the case against you or your loved one.

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.

The former police chief in Atlantic Beach, who was facing decades behind bars on serious drug charges, has reached a deal that will keep him out of prison. The deal includes pleading guilty to five charges, including tampering with evidence and possession of illegal steroids, the newspaper reported. He was originally charged last fall with 21 counts, including trafficking in codeine – a first-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 30 years and a minimum mandatory sentence of at least three years in prison. The state dropped the minimum mandatory as part of the plea deal in this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case, the newspaper reported. Instead of prison time, the deal calls for five years of probation, forfeiting his law enforcement license and paying $11,300 in restitution, the newspaper reported. The deal will become official and the remaining 16 charges will be dropped when the man is sentenced next month.

Police intercepted a package sent to the man from overseas that contained anti-anxiety pills, the newspaper reported. The man was also having illegal steroids shipped from other countries. Police raided his home and found more of the same drugs, though the computer used to order the drugs had been destroyed, the newspaper reported. The evidence tampering charge is likely related to the computer. But, overall, police say the man was cooperative during the raid in this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case, took police to different parts of his home where more of the drugs were located, including a closet where he took pills out of a shirt pocket, and was forthcoming in the interviews. He did have a prescription for some of the medication, but was illegally buying it online, the newspaper reported.

Charges and penalties in Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases are determined by the type of drug a person is accused of possessing, and how much of that drug is found. For example, the police chief in this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case was charged with drug trafficking. That’s not because he was selling the pills, as the charge would imply. Trafficking charges are based on the weight of the drug found and, in Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases involving pills, a bottle of hydrocodone is enough. It is rare for the state to agree to a deal that goes from drug trafficking charges and 21 charges down to a sentence that has probation and no prison time. Cooperating with police can be helpful in getting a better deal, but that should be done at the advice of a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney. If you know or suspect you are the subject of a criminal investigation, a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney can help with explaining your rights, can be with you during any interview and can help with surrendering a defendant to police without a scene if charges end up being filed.

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 Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Detectives arrested one person on felony drug charges after police raided a meth lab in a Jacksonville apartment complex. Police received a tip about meth production at the apartment and served a warrant one morning last week, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Meth was not being made at the time police went to the apartment, but they did find materials used to make meth – including the ingredients and equipment, the newspaper reported. The exact charges were not specified in the newspaper report, but there are no misdemeanor crimes when it comes to meth. Every Jacksonville Drug Crimes Charge related to meth is a felony.

Felony degrees and sentences in Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases are based on two factors: the type of drug and how much a person is accused of having in their possession. Charges related to methamphetamines are among the most serious of all Jacksonville Drug Crimes. For example, even possessing the materials used to manufacture meth is a second-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison. Manufacturing meth is also a second-degree felony. While many people think drug trafficking charges are solely related to selling drugs, they are not. Trafficking is based on the amount of the drug and police do not have to prove the defendant had any intention of selling the narcotics. In meth cases, trafficking begins at just 14 grams and the trafficking charge is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in state prison – which various minimum mandatory sentences based on the amount of the drug the person is charged with having.

Another enhanced charge related to manufacturing meth relates to who is around when the drug is being produced. If a person is manufacturing meth in front of a minor, the charge becomes a first-degree felony, also with a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison. When meth is produced, it emits dangerous chemicals and fumes that are toxic to anyone, but can be particularly harmful to children. Many meth lab busts are in apartment complexes or hotels and police often evacuate adjacent rooms or residences to fully decontaminate the scene and make sure no one is injured. The odor also makes it easier for people nearby to detect, which is likely why many meth lab busts begin from a tip to police. Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney represents people facing all types of drug charges, from misdemeanor marijuana possession on up to trafficking in meth. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate your case and provide you with the information needed to make an informed decision on how to proceed.

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 Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

St. Johns County police raided a St. Johns County home this month after the residents were accused of manufacturing methamphetamines in the home. Detectives found meth, many materials used to make the drug, and venting system used to route the toxic fumes from making the drug outside of the home, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police also removed two small children from the home because of the dangerous fumes that are emitted when producing the drug, the newspaper reported. Two of the people charged live in the home, the newspaper reported. They are facing a several felonies, including child neglect, manufacturing methamphetamines, possession of methamphetamines and manufacturing methamphetamines in the presence of a minor. The final listed charge, manufacturing methamphetamine in a structure where a minor is present, is by far the most serious. It is a first-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The charge also carries a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison.

Among the other charges in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case, child neglect and possession of methamphetamines are both third-degree felonies with a penalty of up to five years in state prison and manufacturing methamphetamines is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. A third person who did not live in the home is also facing charges, but not for child neglect or the first-degree felony regarding children in the home. Charges and potential penalties in St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases vary dramatically based on the type of drug involved. Methamphetamines charges carry serious penalties, based primarily on the harm that can be done to people near where the drug is being produced. For example, meth labs are often found in apartment complexes or hotels – places where there are several other people or families separated only by a wall. In those St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases, authorities will evacuate nearby rooms or apartments until the areas can be decontaminated. The toxic element and the two small children will be difficult to overcome in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case.

Even without the manufacturing element, charges involving methamphetamines carry far more severe penalties than those for a drug such as marijuana. There are various thresholds for charges based on the amount of a drug a person has in his or her possession. Just 14 grams of methamphetamine can be a first-degree felony for drug trafficking, while the same amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney is well-versed in the penalties and charges that vary based on the type of drug charge you or your loved one is facing. Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney will fully investigate your case and explain the consequences and charges so you or your loved one can make the best decision going forward.

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.

A Clay County man who was part of an ongoing methamphetamines investigation was arrested this month, accused of purchasing many of the chemicals needed to produce the drug. Police said they were alerted that the man bought a package of cold medicine used to make meth from a Jacksonville pharmacy, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Investigators were alerted because the man was already on a watch list for people suspected of making methamphetamines, the newspaper reported. When police tracked him down, they allegedly found him with a plastic bottle positioned to cook the meth in his car, along with other chemicals, the newspaper reported. Police then searched his home and found more chemicals hidden in the ceiling, the newspaper reported.

He is now charged with trafficking in methamphetamines, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in state prison. The defendant is also facing a charge of producing methamphetamines, a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison. Trafficking charges are very serious and begin if someone is in possession of just 14 grams of the drug. Trafficking amounts vary based on the type of drug and meth has one of the lower thresholds of any street drug. Methamphetamines are treated similar to oxycodone and other prescription pain pills, where a handful of pills can end up being a trafficking charge. And trafficking does not necessarily mean the person is selling the drug – the charge is based solely on the amount the person is charged with having.

For methamphetamines, anything between 14 and 28 grams carries minimum mandatory sentence of three years in state prison. Between 28 grams and 200 grams, that minimum rises to seven years. Anything more than 200 grams has a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison. Records show the defendant in this Clay County Drug Crimes case had recently pleaded guilty to less serious methamphetamines charges earlier in the year, but was out on bond awaiting sentencing. His arrest on new Clay County Drug Charges will not sit well at all with the judge and will likely cost him several years in prison. Showing remorse and changing behavior is important to judges making sentencing decisions, and doing the same thing just months after getting out of jail is not going to help. Our Clay County Drug Crimes Attorney represents people on all levels of drug charges – from possession to trafficking, from marijuana to methamphetamines. Our Clay County Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate your case and lay out the options for your or your loved one to make the best decision going forward.

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 Clay County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Local police say a two-year investigation has helped weaken a Jacksonville gang known for dealing drugs and breaking into houses. The arrests have been made since police started investigating a January 2013 homicide, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union, so it has been an incremental dismantling – not just one sweep leading to a couple of dozen arrests. While most gang-related charges center on drugs, police say this gang also committed several residential burglaries within its territory near downtown Jacksonville, the newspaper reported.

Since the investigation began, police say they’ve taken five guns, 11 kilograms of cocaine, 20 pounds of marijuana and almost $30,000, the newspaper reported. A state law called the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, or the RICO Act, allows for upgraded penalties if the state can prove that the crimes are gang-related. Prosecutors must first prove that the gang or criminal enterprise exists. Then, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury that the crimes at issue were committed to further the criminal enterprise. Any gang-related charges typically come after whatever the defendant is arrested for in the first place. For example, in this Jacksonville Violent Crimes Case, a man was accused of robbing another man, then shooting another person who tried to stop the robbery, the newspaper reported. The man was initially charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery and shooting into a home – all serious felonies. Armed robbery and aggravated battery are both first-degree felonies and armed robbery can have a life sentence for someone who is convicted. But recently, police added two RICO charges to in the case, adding two more 30-year enhancements on top of what the 25-year-old man is already facing.

In order to make those claims stand up in court, police must have some sort of inside information at the gang level. The threat of the RICO charges can also be used by the state to try to move negotiations along in a Jacksonville Gun Crimes Case or a Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case. Not only can the threat of another 30 years help coax someone along, it could also encourage the state to get one of the defendants to testify against another of the defendants in the case. Jacksonville Robbery Cases are serious on their own, first-degree felonies if people are accused of using a gun in the crime, and often people will do what they can to have their own sentence reduced. Police are also looking for two more of the gang leaders and are likely trying to publicize the case to help get more information about the whereabouts of the suspects.

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 Jacksonville Gun Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The former chief of police in Atlantic Beach is now facing more than 20 charges, including drug trafficking and tampering with evidence after police raided his home last month. The chief was placed on administrative leave last month because he was part of an active criminal investigation and resigned four days later, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. He turned himself in a week later and is charged with 18 counts of possession of a controlled substance, one count of trafficking in codeine, possession of drug paraphernalia and evidence tampering.

Trafficking in codeine is by far the most serious of the charges – a first-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison. The 18 drug possession charges are all third-degree felonies and carry a penalty of up to five years in state prison. Evidence tampering, which comes from disposing of a computer that allegedly was used to buy the steroids from abroad, is also a third-degree felony. The overwhelming majority of the drugs found in the case were anabolic steroids and believed to be solely for personal use, the newspaper reported. Police have not reported any evidence that the chief was in fact selling the substances. However, trafficking charges can be made solely on the amount one is accused of possessing – regardless of intent to sell – in Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases. The trafficking charge is likely for the bottle of hydrocodone pills investigators found when they searched the chief’s home. They also found a duffle bag with 11 bags of anabolic steroids and 13 bottles also believed to be steroids. Steroids are sometimes used by body builders and athletes to build muscle and decrease recovery time from injuries, but the substances are illegal and banned by most major sports organizations.

Jacksonville Drug Crimes Charges are always based on the type of drug and the amount of the drug. As is apparent in this case, the chief had a significant amount of steroids and an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told the newspaper investigators were “shocked by the amount we found.” But because of the way Florida law addresses steroids, there isn’t anything more severe than a third-degree felony for possession. Compare that to one bottle of pills that warrants a trafficking charge and a first-degree felony. Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney knows the requirements and penalties associated with drug possession and trafficking charges and will thoroughly investigate the case against you or your loved one.

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 Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A man and a woman living together in St. John County were arrested on felony drug charges this month, accused of making and selling methamphetamines. Police investigated the couple for three months and obtained a search warrant that was served last week, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. When police searched the property, they said they found an inactive meth lab, chemicals used to make meth, methamphetamine oil and drug paraphernalia, the newspaper reported. Both are charged with trafficking methamphetamines, maintaining a drug dwelling and possession of drug paraphernalia. The trafficking charge is a first-degree felony and by far the most serious, carrying a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Maintaining a drug dwelling is a second-degree felony that carries up to 15 years in prison, while the paraphernalia charge is a misdemeanor and would not include time in state prison – only up to a year in the county jail.

This St. Johns County Drug Crimes case has especially significant prison time attached because of the amount of the drug the pair is accused of having. With methamphetamines, trafficking begins with 14 grams. There are minimum mandatory sentences in St. Johns County Drug Trafficking Cases and they vary based on the amount of the drug police find. In this St. Johns County Drug Crimes case, the couple is accused of having more than 200 grams of methamphetamine – far more than the 14 gram threshold. With more than 200 grams, the defendants face a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. For between 28 and 200 grams, the minimum mandatory sentence was less than half in both areas — seven years with a $100,000 fine.
Felony degrees and maximum penalties in St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases are based primarily on two main factors: The type of drug a person is caught with and the amount of the drug. For example, a person accused of having 15 grams of meth is looking at a trafficking charge and years behind bars. If someone is caught with the same amount of marijuana, the crime is a misdemeanor and prison time is not even possible. Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes attorney knows the details of Florida’s drug laws and can help lay out the potential penalties and investigate the case fully to help you or your loved one know determine the best course of action going forward.

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.

Clay County police arrested 35 people and were seeking more than a dozen more, predominantly on charges of selling drugs that date back to February. Police began the months-long investigation looking into people selling prescription drugs, but ended up expanding the probe to other controlled substances, including marijuana and cocaine, according to a report on News4Jax. Twenty-nine people were arrested on Clay County Drug Charges for selling narcotics, and six more were picked up on other charges when police executed the warrants on the intended targets, the television station reported. There were outstanding warrants for about a dozen people following the sweep of arrests last month.

When a person is accused of selling a controlled substance in a Clay County Drug Case, the charge is a felony. The degree of felony and the maximum penalty are based primarily on two factors: the amount of the drug the defendant is arrested with and the type of drug he or she is accused of selling. For example, charges related to prescription drugs carry much more severe penalties than those involving marijuana. For example, drug trafficking charges involving prescription pills such as hydrocodone begin at 14 grams – just a handful of pills. Trafficking charges for marijuana do not begin until the person is accused of having 25 pounds of the drug. Drug trafficking charges are first-degree felonies, with varying minimum mandatory sentences that apply based on the amount of the drug included in the charge.

There are other factors that can determine the felony degree and potential punishment in a Clay County Drug Crimes Case. For example, there are enhanced penalties for selling or delivering drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, church or child care facility. Several of the cases in this Clay County Drug Crimes sweep have upgraded charges, and that increase is typically one felony degree. For example, sale or distribution of marijuana is normally a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. However, if the transaction is completed within 1,000 feet of a school or other area listed above, the charge becomes a second-degree felony. Second-degree felonies have a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison – a significant difference for the defendant. Our Clay County Drug Crimes Attorney has represented people on all types of drug charges – from possession to trafficking involving all types of controlled substances. Our Clay County Criminal Defense Attorney knows what police must show to prove a sale and will thoroughly investigate the case against you or your loved one.

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 Clay County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.