An undercover operation in Nassau County, targeted specifically at Fernandina Beach and the surrounding areas, recently resulted in more than 20 arrests for various drug crimes. The raids also let to the confiscation of nearly 10 different kinds of drugs, ranging from morphine and Xanax to marijuana and crack cocaine, and three vehicles, as well as nearly $600 in cash. Some individuals were arrested for selling the drugs, others for possession, and two individuals no have outstanding warrants for their arrest.
The operation lasted a few months, and Florida residents should need no more proof than this that our state’s law enforcement officials are committed to keeping illegal drugss off the streets. However, most cases are not black and white, and there are many different factors that can contribute to being accused of a drug crime, even if you are completely innocent. Unfortunately for these individuals, law enforcement officials in their zeal are sometimes more interested in a conviction than in justice.
This is not to impugn the honor of our state’s law enforcement personnel, but sometimes they are so sure that a person is guilty, they forget or overlook important legal matters. For example, if a police officer pulls you over for a speeding ticket and on a whim decides to search your car for drugs, this could qualify as an illegal search, even if the officer ends up finding drugs. Such circumstances can be especially important in large operations such as the one mentioned above. When police are arresting large groups of people, simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time can see you charged.
If you are accused of a drug crime, it is important that you meet with an attorney to help you understand your rights. Proper understanding of your rights can be the difference between conviction and acquittal, and the legal expertise afforded by an attorney can be crucial to your defense.
Source: Jacksonville, “23 arrested, 2 sought in Fernandina Beach drug operation,” Dan Scanlan, June 29, 2015