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Florida Man Busted After Plans For Erectile Dysfunction Medication Ring Exposed
In early October 2023, a 77-year old man from The Villages was arrested by federal authorities after he bought almost $1,800 worth of erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs and sought to sell them in the retirement community. While most people are well aware that possession of illegal drugs is against the law, it is not uncommon for people to try and acquire larger amounts of prescription drugs without the understanding that doing so is just as unlawful. If you have been charged with this type of offense, calling an attorney is crucial.
Possession Without A Prescription Is Unlawful
Florida law sees drug offenses as extremely serious. Both Florida and federal law classify all drugs into ‘schedules,’ based on both the accepted medical usage and potential for addiction for each substance. For example, Xanax (alprazolam) is classified as a Schedule IV substance, which means that it has a low potential for abuse, and more than one accepted medical usage, but Vicodin (hydrocodone) is a Schedule II substance given its much higher potential for abuse and addiction. This applies to both illegal drugs and prescription drugs.
As of this writing, Viagra (sildenafil) is not a scheduled drug, meaning that authorities do not see a potential for abuse. However, it does require a prescription in Florida, and to obtain it without a prescription is still against the law. The man from The Villages was arrested by federal authorities, rather than Florida law enforcement, because he ordered the ED drugs on the internet, and had them shipped through interstate commerce. Those who obtain their drugs in-state will likely face state charges.
Potential For Jail Time
If you are convicted of unlawful possession of prescription drugs, two factors will govern the severity of the charges: the specific drug involved, and the overall weight of the drugs in question (or of a mixture containing the drugs). Under Florida law, possession of under a certain amount will be charged as possession, while if you are stopped with more than a certain amount per drug, it is more likely that you will be charged with trafficking. This is true even if you may have had no intent whatsoever to sell the drug in question.
The man from The Villages was charged with a misdemeanor, given the low potential for abuse of the drug in question; he pleaded not guilty, asking for a trial before a magistrate judge instead of a jury. If he is convicted, he faces up to 1 year in federal prison, plus a significant fine. If you find yourself in a similar position, the facts of your situation may be enough to warrant a different choice.
Contact A West Palm Beach Drug Possession Attorney
While it remains to be seen what the man’s ultimate fate will be, it is important to take lessons from his arrest; just because a drug is not scheduled does not mean that a prescription is not required for its use. A West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help to answer any questions you may have about your case and the nature of the legal process. Call our office today to speak to an attorney.