VA Medical Center Raid Nets 17 Arrests for Drugs in Riviera Beach

Seventeen people were arrested recently after authorities raided the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Riviera Beach, The Palm Beach Post reports.

The newspaper says that the arrest of a man for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone led to detectives working on a 7-month investigation. The investigation resulted in a dozen arrests and charges of unlawful drug distribution based out of the clinic.
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Drug charges in West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida can range from minor possession cases to large-scale distribution and conspiracy cases. Likewise is the possible range of penalty. The sanctions can be as simple as a few months in jail if convicted to decades in prison. The type of charge depends on the type of drug, the quantity and where it is being sold.

An experienced Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney will be able to look at all aspects of the evidence and challenge all aspects of the case. With decades of experience as a prosecutor, our West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyers understand how these cases are handled and what tactics the state uses in prosecuting them.

According to the news report, agents found 5,000 oxycodone pills in a safe at a 52-year-old Jupiter woman’s house. She was a controlled substance technician at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, according to an arrest affidavit.

Authorities allege that the woman was ordering the pills and allowing her son to sell them. Sixteen other people were also arrested as part of the undercover investigation into illegal drug sales. Warrants were also issued for four other people.

Those in custody are medical center employees, veterans and associates, authorities said. Most arrested face charges of sale of oxycodone or sale of marijuana. In some cases, veterans are charged with selling drugs to make money. More than 6,000 oxycodone pills were seized, along with $200,000 in cash and two vehicles.

What must be considered in cases like this is how credible the information gained from potential co-defendants is. When several people are charged with a crime, many will jump to make a deal with the state in exchange for a lesser prison sentence or sometimes no charges at all. This also goes for people whom the state doesn’t charge and agrees to not charge if they testify for the prosecution.

In either of these cases, people are being given a benefit to tell a story that is pleasing to the prosecution. If they vary at all, even if it’s not 100 percent truthful, they can see the consequences — a lost plea deal or charges being filed. For this reason, their testimony should be seen as questionable.

In Fort Lauderdale drug cases, in particular, police officers will use confidential informants to try to nab other people. Informants are former drug dealers or buyers who agree with police to work with them to net arrests for the department. But in many cases, these people set up drug deals, which can lead to entrapment. That means a person wouldn’t normally have committed a crime if not enticed, or trapped, by law enforcement.

There are many factors to take into consideration in cases like this and the complexity requires the experience of a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney, who can work to uphold the rights of the accused.

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

More Blog Entries:

Drug Court Hits 20th Anniversary of Helping Defendants in Fort Lauderdale: July 27, 2011
31 Years On The Run Ends With 5-Year Prison Sentence After West Palm Beach Drug Arrest: July 10, 2011
Additional Resources:

17 arrested, more sought in narcotics bust at VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach, by Cynthia Roldan, The Palm Beach Post

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