Articles Posted in Drug Crimes in Jacksonville

Police dismantled a mobile methamphetamines lab that officers discovered during a traffic stop in St. Johns County.  Officers pulled the car over and found several people inside – along with the materials used to make methamphetamines, according to a report on Action News Jax. Police closed the gas station while they could dismantle the lab, the television station reported. Police did not announce any arrests in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case, but if the state can prove the case against any of the occupants, there will likely be serious felony charges filed.

In St. Johns County Drug Crimes cases, the severity of the charges – and thus the potential sentence in state prison or county jail – can vary dramatically based on the drug in question. With methamphetamines, for example, nearly any charge is going to be a felony. Methamphetamines can be manufactured with a mixture of various dangerous chemicals that are cooked to produce the drug, but emit toxic fumes in the process. Even possessing the chemicals used to make the drug can be a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in state prison. There could be difficulty in this St. Johns County Drug Case as to who was in actual possession of the chemicals because there were multiple people in the vehicle. In many cases, police may end up arresting and charging everyone in the car, then waiting for people to get nervous and start pointing fingers at one another.

Because of the distinct odor produced from making methamphetamines, it can be difficult to hide from passerby and from police. In many St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases, meth labs are discovered in hotel rooms and apartment complexes, though it is now becoming more common for people to use cars. The fumes are viewed as being toxic to the point that penalties are increased if there are children around when the drug is being produced. The charge moves to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Just as important in St. Johns County Drug Crimes is that the charge for having children present includes a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison. Minimum mandatory sentences can be critical because they tie the judge’s hands if a person is convicted of the crime, meaning the judge could not give a lesser sentence. Also, every day of a minimum mandatory sentence must be served, unlike traditional sentences where people serves about 85 percent, provided they stay out of trouble behind bars.  Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney represents people accused of all types of drug crimes and will fully 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 St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

One person was arrested after police found a methamphetamines lab in a Clay County hotel this month.  Police were called after someone reported a suspicious smell and detectives then found the materials used to make meth inside a hotel room, according to a report on News4Jax. One person was arrested, though the exact charges were not reported in the media.  In any Clay County Drug Case involving meth, the charges are undoubtedly felonies. The type of charge – felony or misdemeanor – and the degree of the charge in Clay County Drug Cases is primarily based on two main factors: the type of drug the person is accused of having and the amount of the drug in question. When it comes to methamphetamines, there are rarely any misdemeanor charges. They are other circumstances in Clay County Drug Crimes Cases that can lead to enhance penalties, which are addressed below.

For example, manufacturing methamphetamines is a second-degree felony, with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison. In this Clay County Drug Crimes Case, the criminal activity was discovered when someone smelled the odor. When people are manufacturing methamphetamines, a distinct odor is produced. That odor can also be toxic, which is why the television station reported that several other rooms in the hotel had to be evacuated. The toxicity of the fumes is also why there are enhanced penalties if the suspect is accused of manufacturing meth when there are children present. If someone is arrested for making meth with someone under the age of 16 present, the charge becomes a first-degree felony and the maximum penalty doubles to 30 years. More importantly, there is a five-year minimum mandatory sentence that kicks in. Minimum mandatory sentences are particularly important because every single day of the sentence must be served, as opposed to the 85 percent of a sentence that inmates often serve, provided they stay out of trouble while they are in prison.

Drug trafficking charges could also apply in this Clay County Drug Crimes Case, depending on how much of the drug was seized by police. A person does not have to be physically selling drugs to be charged with trafficking. Trafficking is based solely on the amount. For methamphetamines, the trafficking threshold begins at 14 grams. For comparison, possession of marijuana is still a misdemeanor at that amount. But for methamphetamines, having between 14 and 28 grams is a first-degree felony with a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison.  Our Clay County Drug Crimes Attorney knows how different drugs are treated in the Florida statutes, and can explain the different ramifications and penalties to you or your loved one so you can make the best decision on how to proceed with the charges.

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.

A months-long undercover operation in Nassau County lead to 23 arrests – predominantly on felony drug charges – and two more suspects have warrants out for their arrest.  Police announced the charges last month as part of Operation Sorry for the Weight, though people have been getting arrested and charged over the past couple of months, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Undercover officers say they caught people selling marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs and other controlled substances, the newspaper reported. The type of drug is critical in Nassau County Drug Crimes Cases because the charges and potential sentences are based on two factors: the drug the person is accused of possessing or selling, and the amount of the drug the person is accused of having.

In these Nassau County Drug Crimes Cases, the amount does not appear to be the issue. All of the transactions appear to be a small amount of drugs and none of the 23 is facing trafficking charges – which is where far more serious penalties, including minimum mandatory sentences, are in play.   For example, sale of cocaine is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. The same second-degree felony charge applies for sale of methamphetamines, as well as hydrocodone in Nassau County Drug Crimes Cases. But sale of marijuana is a third-degree felony and the maximum prison time is only five years. In fact, for even just possession of most drugs other than marijuana, the charges are more than likely going to be felonies – rarely are the charges misdemeanors. In this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case, while most of the charges were for sale of drugs, there were several charged only with possession. Only one person, who was charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, is facing a misdemeanor charge. Others charged with possession of cocaine are looking at third-degree felony charges and a possibility of up to five years in state prison.

In many of these Nassau County Drug Crimes charges, the charges are based on the men and women selling drugs to undercover officers. In most of these instances, police have video and audio recording of the transaction, which can be admissible in court if the police follow all of the proper rules and procedures.  Our Nassau County Drug Crimes Attorney represents people charged with all types of drug crimes – possession, sale and trafficking – involving all types of drugs, from marijuana and cocaine to prescription drugs and methamphetamines.

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.

A Jacksonville police officer was arrested this month on felony drug charges, accused of bringing pills to an acquaintance who said she was in pain.  The woman sent the officer a text message asking for pills and the officer brought her a bag with six pills, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The pills were painkillers and a muscle relaxer – and all but one would need a prescription, the newspaper reported. The officer is also accused of making sexual advances on the woman but she told him to stop, the newspaper reported. In all, he is facing two different felony charges for sale or delivery of a controlled substance, as well as a battery for touching the woman, the newspaper reported.

Police said there was not enough evidence to charge the man with sexual battery but, because a battery is any unwanted touching, that’s what he was charged with. That charge is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in the county jail. The drug charges are the real problem – both are second-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison on each count. Not only do felonies open up the possibility of state prison, for law enforcement officers it can mean the end of their career. Most police agencies will not allow someone to be a sworn officer if they have been convicted of or have pleaded to a felony. The officer is now on leave without pay while the Jacksonville Drug Crime investigation is completed. If the officer had prescriptions for the medication, that could make a big difference in the state’s willingness to discuss a plea agreement to something other than a felony.

The facts of the case, as they have been presented in the media, sound pretty thin. The woman did reach out to the officer for the pills and appears to have been offended by the sexual advances and then called police. The officer was arrested two days later and has not been back to work since. When it comes to the felony drug charges, the charge is the same whether someone sells prescription drugs or gives them to someone for free. The difference could come in sentencing, but the law treats both actions the same. This is where the discretion of prosecutors comes into play with the hope that not every Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case is treated exactly the same.  Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney represents people accused of all types of drug crimes, from sale or delivery on down to possession. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate the case against you or your loved one, and give you the information needed to make the best 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.

Nassau County Sheriff’s Office officials fired an officer and charged him with felony drug charges the same day.  The investigation is ongoing, but police said they learned the man was selling prescription medication and they had what they needed to fire him, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man is charged with conspiracy to trafficking hydrocodone and with selling a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church or a school, the newspaper reported. Both are serious felony charges in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case. Trafficking in hydrocodone is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and has a minimum mandatory sentence of at least three years in state prison, depending on the amount the person is accused of having. The charge for selling a controlled substance is a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison.

And while the two charges in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case are obviously related, they are not as intertwined as one might presume. Drug trafficking charges are based on the amount of the drug a person has and have nothing to do with whether the person is physically selling drugs. Trafficking charges themselves – and least from the outset – can be much more common in cases involving hydrocodone and other pills because the threshold is so low. Trafficking charges involving hydrocodone start at just 14 grams. For example, Nassau County Drug Crimes Cases involving marijuana are misdemeanors until the amount is 20 grams and trafficking charges don’t kick in until the defendant has 250 POUNDS of marijuana. Depending on how much the person is accused of having, and the amount was not specified in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case, there are minimum mandatory sentences. For example, if the person is charged with having between 14 and 28 grams, the minimum mandatory sentence is three years. If the amount is between 28 and 50 grams, the minimum sentence is seven years, and it increases to 15 years when the amount is between 50 and 200 grams.

So the actual sale of the drugs carries less of a punishment than the possession, because of the amount. But the sale is likely the biggest issue in firing the officer immediately. Right or wrong, police are held to different standards, and having an officer selling drugs is not going to go over well. The charges in this Nassau County Drug Case may change as the investigation moves on, but the arrest and public release of the facts seem to be a little earlier than normal because of the fact the suspect was an active police officer.  Our Nassau County Drug Crimes Attorney has represented people accused of all levels of drug crimes, accused of having a variety of different substances and will fully investigate the case against you or your loved one so you 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 Nassau County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A Georgia man is now facing up to 30 years in prison, following his arrest for allegedly selling methamphetamines.  Police received a tip the man would be meeting someone at a store in Nassau County to make the transaction and detectives watched as the deal was conducted, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man had twice delivered methamphetamines to an informant who was working with police, the newspaper reported. Because there are multiple sales involved in this Nassau County Drug Case, and likely audio or video recordings of more than one crime, the potential sentence in this case could be severe.

In Nassau County Drug Crime Cases, charges and sentences are determined by two main factors: the type of drug the person is accused of possessing or selling, and the amount of the drug found on their person. While some drugs, such as marijuana, have relatively minor penalties until you get into larger amounts, others are felonies from the word go. That certainly applies to methamphetamines, which have among the most severe penalties of any substance in Nassau County Drug Crimes cases. Federal agents were involved in this case, likely because of the drugs crossing state lines, so it may be handled in federal court with different sentencing guidelines. In Florida, drug trafficking is the most severe drug charge – in terms of the amount a person is accused of possessing. And while in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case there is evidence of an actual sale, there does not need to be any physical transaction for a trafficking charge – that is based solely on the amount.

Trafficking in marijuana begins at having 25 pounds of the drug, according to Florida law. For methamphetamines, trafficking begins at just 14 grams. Trafficking charges in Nassau County Drug Crimes Cases also include minimum mandatory sentences, which guarantee a certain amount of prison time if a person is convicted or pleads guilty to the charges. For example, if a person is convicted of having between 14 and 28 grams of methamphetamines, there is a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in state prison. If the amount is between 28 and 200 grams, it bumps up to a seven-year minimum mandatory sentence. Any amount more than 200 grams of methamphetamines carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in state prison. And while in most sentences, defendants end up serving about 85 percent of the sentence if they stay out of trouble, every single day of a minimum mandatory sentence must be served.  Our Nassau County Drug Crimes Attorney represents people on all types of drug charges, from possession on up to trafficking.

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.

After months of investigation, police raided a Jacksonville nightclub and made sweeping arrests on drug charges.  Sixteen people were arrested during the raid and 20 more people had warrants out for their arrest as a result of the investigation, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Of those 36, four worked at the club, the newspaper reported, and police officials declined to say if club ownership was involved in the drug activity. Police began investigating after learning of drug activity in the club, and then made more than 100 drug transactions at the club of the course of the undercover investigation.  So when the arrests were made at the club, it wasn’t just police finding some marijuana in people’s pockets at the club. People were arrested, for example, on five counts of selling methamphetamines or four counts of selling methamphetamines and one count of possession of marijuana. Selling methamphetamines is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. So the person facing five counts is looking at a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison.
Most of the arrests in this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case were related to club drugs that come up in the Florida Statutes as methamphetamines. In Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases, the severity of the charge, and thus the potential punishment, is based on the type of drug a person is accused of having or selling, along with how much of the drug is in his or her possession. With methamphetamines and most other drugs, there are no misdemeanor charges – only felonies that have maximum sentences involving some time in state prison. For example, the marijuana possession charge mentioned earlier is a misdemeanor and, generally speaking, marijuana charges are far less severe than with harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines.
The prosecution of these Jacksonville Drug Crime Cases will be interesting, because it appears that police already have some form of evidence on drug sales, based on the more than 100 they’ve been a part of, according to the newspaper. Police generally document these transactions so they are available in court, so there is likely a video or audio recording police can show in court. Also, with this many people involved, expect the wheeling and dealing to already be underway – especially with the four employees who are charged. There’s generally a “big fish” police are after in a case like this, which in all likelihood is one of the people who owns the club. Police and prosecutors will often offer a reduced sentence for people willing to testify to the source of the drugs, or provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction police are really after.
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 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.