Regular Florida readers may know that there have been several arrests in recent months of local doctors. In most of these arrests, the doctors have been accused of running 'pill mills' and face prescription drug crime charges. Recently another clinic was raided in our state which led to police arresting seven additional doctors.
It may seem logical to Florida readers to think that a person cannot be convicted of a crime if they do not know that they are committing it. However, for some offenses, our state disagrees. In fact, this is in contrast with 48 other states across the nation. Here in our state, if you are found to have drugs in your possession, even if you were not aware that you had them, you can be convicted of drug possession charges.
A Florida man was recently arrested at his place of work and accused of costing the University of Miami over $14 million over a three year period. The charges against him in relation to the alleged prescription drug crime include two counts of trafficking in contraband prescription drugs, four counts of grand theft and one count of dealing in stolen property. Police say that the man took cancer drugs from UM and sold them to another individual.
Earlier this year, Florida outlawed synthetic drugs such as Methcathinone, a 'Schedule I' controlled substance. These synthetic drugs are often sold as bath salts. The Thrifty Food Mart in Okaloosa County was raided around the time the law was enacted, and authorities assert that the store was selling drugs at the store under the new law. No arrests were made at that time, but the store was served with a cease-and-desist order and furnished with information about Florida's controlled substance laws.
Police officers are entrusted with enforcing the laws of the communities that they serve, and the public relies on them to ensure public safety and to maintain the peace. When a police officer is accused of a crime, the shockwaves are felt throughout the community. Residents can feel betrayed, and many express doubt in the systems in place that claim to serve and protect. For the officer involved, such a claim can be devastating, both personally and professionally. Florida residents may be aware that a Florida Highway Patrol trooper has been arrested and charged with a prescription drug crime.