KEY WEST, FL (November 6, 2019) writes that police arrested two men late last week for numerous drug-related offenses. The Key West Police Department and federal law enforcement officers were both involved in the search of a residence located on Magnolia Lane.

A 33-year-old man was arrested and is now facing charges for trafficking heroin and cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of prescription drugs without a prescription, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The other suspect, a 39-year-old man, is facing charges for heroin possession, cocaine possession, marijuana possession, and for the possession of a firearm or ammunition by a felon.

Law enforcement officers obtained the search warrant for the residence at about 5:45 in the morning. The two men were at the location, along with three other adults and a 6-year-old child. The child is now with a family member. The three other adults were not arrested.

In the course of their search, police found large amounts of cocaine, heroin, Valium, MDMA (ecstasy), marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, Buprenorphine (an opioid), bags and a scale containing cocaine residue, and a round of handgun ammunition.

Drug Trafficking Charges in Florida

In order to be convicted of drug trafficking in Florida, a suspect does not have to have sold any drugs. The crime of trafficking is based on the amount of a drug found in a person’s possession. For cocaine trafficking charges, the individual must be in possession of at least 28 grams of the drug, for marijuana, possession of 25 pounds or 300 plants will lead to trafficking charges rather than just possession.

If the amount of a drug is more than needed for drug trafficking charges to be filed, the sentencing and fines a person is facing will depend on the amount of drugs as well. If a person is convicted of trafficking after being caught with between 28 and 200 grams of cocaine, then that person will face a minimum three-year prison sentence and a $50,000 fine. If the person has between 200 and 400 grams, the penalty jumps to a minimum of seven years and a $100,000 fine. For amounts between 400 and 150 kilograms, there is a fifteen-year minimum sentence and a $200,000 fine. For anything above 150 kilograms, the crime becomes a first-degree felony carrying a sentence of life in prison.

The sentencing and the amounts are different depending on the drug involved, but in each case, the penalties will increase depending on the amount of the substance in a person’s possession.

Drugs that are legal with a prescription are treated the same way when they are found in the possession of a person who does not have a prescription for that drug. This is often seen in cases of black market opioids.

A person facing charges for drug trafficking has numerous possible defenses that could be raised to have the charges dismissed or reduced. It is essential to speak to an experienced attorney to determine the best defense strategy.