31 Years On the Run Ends With 5-Year Prison Sentence After West Palm Beach Drug Arrest

A member of the Miami Black Tuna Gang spent the last 31 years on the lam, but he was recently captured and sent to prison for five years on a charge of marijuana smuggling, The Miami Herald reports.

West Palm Beach Drug Defense Lawyers have the experience to handle any drug charge in South Florida, whether it be for manufacturing drugs, possessing drugs, selling drugs or trafficking drugs. West Palm Beach drug possession charges carry tough penalties, up to decades in prison, and require a diligent defense law team.

The Black Tuna Gang was a marijuana smuggling organization active in the 1970s in Miami. The group allegedly smuggled in about 500 tons of marijuana in a 16-month period before the DEA and FBI brought them down.

This defendant was convicted in 1980 of racketeering and possession and distribution of marijuana. He left his trial in 1979 and spent years in Chile, Europe and New York City before settling in a rented apartment at the Century Village seniors community in West Palm Beach.

In 1997, the defendant was convicted in North Carolina and sentenced to five years in prison for a failed marijuana run but never served the term because of his indictment in Miami. While prosecutors were seeking 15 years, his attorneys argued he was a peripheral member of the gang. He was busted after a boat carrying 40,000 pounds of marijuana ran aground off the Bahamas because drunken crew members began cooking steaks and started a fire aboard the boat.

Depending on the weight of the drugs, where they are being sold, purchased or manufactured and a defendant’s criminal history, the potential sentence can vary greatly. Hiring a lawyer who has been a state prosecutor and who has handled scores of drug cases over two decades can be advantageous to a defendant.

A defense attorney must have all the latest tools to be able to suppress a defendant’s statement from being introduced as evidence before a jury and to suppress evidence police collect if officers don’t follow procedures or don’t have probable cause in the first place to make an arrest. Keeping this evidence out of a defendant’s case is critical.

Having the knowledge to file those and other motions and being committed to aggressively defending a client’s case is what we pride ourselves on doing. Our firm will extensively study the case, discuss options with the client and figure out the best resolution. That may mean a plea offer from the state that we consider, going to trial, or, in the best case scenario, getting the charges dropped after getting evidence kicked out.

Don’t feel like your lawyer isn’t doing enough to defend you and your rights. We work with clients to make sure they are well-informed, up-to-date on hearings and motions and apprised of all the details of their case. Before you do anything else, set up a free consultation today.

If you are arrested on drug possession or delivery charges in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.

Additional Resources:

After 31 years on the lam, Miami Black Tuna Gang member gets five years in prison, By David Ovalle, The Miami Herald
Previous Blog Entries:

Miami Cop Arrested by FBI on Drug Charge: June 8, 2011

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