Six men in central Florida were arrested in January on suspicion of drug trafficking. The men were part of a group that law enforcement is calling a cocaine trafficking ring. In total, 27 individuals were arrested on felony charges related to the investigation.
In April, investigators with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Major Case Narcotics Unit began looking into an alleged drug trafficking operation. Investigators identified three men who were allegedly bringing between 15 and 30 kilos of cocaine from Orlando into Jacksonville every week. According to the sheriff, these three men were acting as the main cocaine supplier for several different drug trafficking organizations in Jacksonville.
The sheriff says that after the cocaine was brought into Jacksonville, it was divided into smaller quantities and sold at the street level. Some of the cocaine stayed in Jacksonville, and some was shipped to New York City and Colorado. Law enforcement in Colorado arrested an active-duty Army sergeant in connection to the alleged drug trafficking operation. There were also some arrests made of alleged suppliers in Puerto Rico.
The six Florida men who received drug charges were arrested during the search and seizure of a home in Jacksonville. During the raid, law enforcement reportedly seized 9 kilos of cocaine that is estimated to be worth $900,000 on the street. Police also seized 22 firearms, cash, crack cocaine, marijuana, and meth. Nine cars, jet ski, and a boat were also taken.
Defense against drug charges
When police conduct a search and seizure, they might act unprofessionally or make mistakes that can render the raid illegal. People who are accused of drug crimes sometimes build a defense by disputing the legitimacy of the search and seizure. If evidence was obtained illegally, it cannot be used against a defendant in court.