Lake County Residents Help Take Down Clermont Drug Ring
There are fewer drugs on the street of Clermont today as a successful four-month investigation has resulted in charges for seventy-four suspected drug dealers. The investigation was named “close to home” after local citizens notified law enforcement of drug activity occurring in local supermarket and restaurant parking lots. After heavy surveillance and several undercover stings deputies had enough evidence to search seven homes where they seized $140,000 worth of heroin, cocaine and prescription pills. They also seized twenty three vehicles, twenty guns and over $30,000 in cash.
Several agencies, including the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Clermont, Mount Dora and Leesburg Police Departments, as well as the Orlando division of the U.S. Marshal’s Office cooperated to serve the 74 arrest warrants putting all but seven people in custody. The State Department of Children and Families also played an important role in taking care of the children that were found at three of the homes.
Florida Search and Seizure Rights
In this case, if the defendant is able to prove that there was never a warrant or that the warrant was invalid in some way, any evidence found during the search can no longer be used as evidence in court. Our Fourth Amendment Rights prevent police from busting down your front door just because they suspect criminal activity. Law enforcement must produce enough evidence to a judge whom will issue a warrant if he or she believes there is probable cause.
It is not uncommon for law enforcement to ignore search warrant laws, yet this often goes unnoticed. However, a good criminal defense attorney will scrutinize all aspects of a case looking for mistakes or misconduct by law enforcement personnel to ensure their client rights are protected. If you have drug charges or your property has been seized make sure your first priority is finding an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer that can handle your case.
Source: OrlandoSentinel.com “‘Huge bust’ in Lake results in drug charges against 74 suspected dealers,” Jayna Omaye, Sep. 02, 2014