Pompano Beach Restaurateur Faces Multiple Trafficking Charges
A South Florida man faces multiple drug trafficking charges after being stopped by detectives in the parking lot of his Pompano Beach restaurant. When sheriff’s deputies stopped the man, they searched his bag and found almost $20,000 in cash, as well as small quantities of several drugs, including cocaine, fentanyl, and marijuana. Significantly larger amounts were found in the man’s home, as well as roughly $500,000 in cash. The man and his son were arrested, and currently face significant jail terms if convicted. Anyone caught with multiple types of drugs can face the same potential penalties.
Know The ‘Threshold Amount’
Drug trafficking, compared to drug possession, is a much more serious crime, and it is a crime that one can actually commit almost without knowing. Under Florida law, the intent to commit drug trafficking is not required for you to be charged with the crime; rather, you must merely possess a certain amount of the drug in question. The assumption is that possessing enough of a certain drug implies that there is intent to sell or distribute, given that such a high amount may be more than one person could use.
One factor that significantly complicates many drug cases is that the ‘threshold’ amount of a drug that triggers a trafficking charge is different depending on the specific substance. For example, one must possess, sell, bring into the state, manufacture, or deliver more than 25 pounds of cannabis in order to be charged with trafficking, while only 28 grams of cocaine will meet the same threshold.
One Drug, One Sentence
Most cases of trafficking, at least for the average individual, revolve around possession of significant amounts of one type of drug. The case of the Pompano Beach restaurateur is less common, as he faces multiple trafficking charges. He was caught with large amounts of multiple drugs, which means that the threshold was almost certainly met for many different charges. While a defendant may have one or two charges dropped in a situation such as this – one can only serve so many years, after all – it is very possible that if you are in a similar situation, you could face multiple terms in prison, each lasting for a period between 3 and 15 years, depending on exactly how much of a given drug is involved.
In addition, aggravating circumstances may be present, which can increase your sentence (if convicted) even more. For example, if you commit a trafficking crime with the use of a weapon, you may face either an augmentation to your sentence or a separate charge relating to unlawful possession of that weapon. Depending on the specific amounts you are caught with, you may even face charges under Florida’s “continuing criminal enterprise” law, also called the kingpin statute. A conviction under the CCE law is a life felony.
Call A West Palm Beach Drug Crimes Attorney
While the fate of the restaurateur and his son remains in doubt as of this writing, trafficking is an extremely serious charge and if you have been charged, calling a West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney from the firm of Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. can help to ensure that your rights are protected in court. Call our offices today to speak to an attorney.