Charles L. Truncale
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A Former Federal Prosecutor Who Now Fights For Defendants

Jacksonville Criminal Defense Blog

Port Charlotte home search leads to drug dealing charge

A 44-year-old Port Charlotte woman went to jail April 5 after law enforcement executed a search warrant on her residence. According to statements from the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit, agents had been investigating her for an extended period. She now faces multiple drug charges, including cocaine trafficking, possessing marijuana for the purpose of selling and possession of cannabis extracts and MDMA.

Law enforcement reported finding documentation about drug transactions and small baggies associated with packaging drugs for sale. Tests confirmed that white powder on a mirror was cocaine, and a bag holding 21.2 grams of cocaine was taken from her desk. Prescription pills, THC vaping oil and marijuana were found in her bedroom. Investigators also took $9,095 from a safe in her home.

Spring break teens facing drug charges in Florida

Two teenagers may regret their decision to spend spring break in Florida after being taken into custody on drug charges by police in Bay County. Officers with the Lynn Haven Police Department pulled the couple's car over for speeding on April 5 as they made their way back to Tennessee. However, what began as a routine traffic stop took an unexpected turn when officers allegedly detected the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The officers then ordered the 19-year-old man who had been driving the car and his 18-year-old female passenger to exit the vehicle. A subsequent search of the car is said to have led to the discovery of 14 ounces of marijuana, $6,000 in cash, electronic scales and a semi-automatic handgun. Police say that the drugs were packaged in a way that suggested they were available for sale. Officers claim that the woman admitted to them that the drugs, gun, money and alleged drug paraphernalia were hers. Police say they also recovered a small amount of marijuana from the man who had been behind the wheel.

Could ecstacy follow in the footsteps of marijuana?

Over the last five years, the public perception of marijuana has definitely changed. Since 2012, dozens of states have implemented laws allowing the medical use of the drug, and a handful of states have either decriminalized the possession of marijuana (i.e. made it a fineable offense only) or have legalized its recreational use.

It remains to be seen whether additional states will legalize medicinal marijuana use or whether the federal government will remove it from the Controlled Substances Act, but one conclusion can be drawn: it is reasonable to believe that the change in this perception was driven by clinical tests showing the medical benefits of THC, particularly on those who suffer from chronic pain.

Woman charged with DUI in Florida

A 29-year-old University of Florida student was pulled over by police early on March 30 after her vehicle was spotted going north in a southbound lane. Her 2014 Mini Cooper was seen by officers on Northeast Waldo Road near Northeast 16th Avenue. The woman allegedly defied orders to stop her vehicle until authorities were eventually able to detain her. According to media sources, she also managed to get partially free from her handcuffs while sitting in a patrol car.

The woman reportedly admitted to police that she had been drinking at Munegin's On 13th, and officers claim that she said she was coked out when refusing to take sobriety tests. A Breathalyzer revealed that she had a blood alcohol content of .198 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit in the state. The woman was charged with resisting arrest without violence and DUI. She was taken to Alachua County Jail and was later released on $20,000 bond.

Two Florida residents accused of drug crimes

Local police in Fort Walton Beach arrested a man and woman for drug possession on March 23 after they were pulled over while driving. The woman, 33, and the man, 23, were driving a black Ford Mustang with tinted windows, and the Fort Walton Beach Street Crimes Unit pulled over the vehicle on the basis of a tint violation. According to reports, law enforcement had already received a tip that the vehicle could be carrying drugs.

A drug-sniffing dog was brought out at the scene by police, who said that the dog alerted on the scent of drugs from the vehicle. The police then searched the vehicle and reportedly found 17 grams of methamphetamine, some marijuana, paraphernalia, weighing scales and prescription pills. After they found the drugs in the car, detectives obtained a search warrant for the woman's motel room.

Man faces array of drug charges after traffic crash

One Florida teen is facing multiple charges related to drug crimes and related activities after a traffic collision in Ocala. The crash, which took place on March 13 at around 3:00 in the morning, involved a large semi-truck fuel tanker and a silver Toyota Corolla. It occurred at a Kangaroo gas station located at the corner of US Route 441 and NE 35th Street.

Police claim that when they approached the silver Corolla, they detected a strong smell of marijuana and searched the vehicle. When searching the vehicle, the police say that they found over 20 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and alcohol in addition to 10 assorted traffic signs. The speed limit signs, a Do Not Enter sign and a stop sign had reportedly been stolen from various locations around Ocala. The 18-year-old driver of the Toyota Corolla was taken into custody and is facing multiple charges, including both felony and misdemeanor count.

Woman arrested for drunk driving while shopping for more wine

A Florida supermarket parking lot was the scene of a car accident and a drunk driving arrest. The Cape Coral police responded to a call from a customer at the Publix located on the Cape Coral Parkway. The customer's vehicle had been damaged in the parking lot. As the police recorded the report, a 50-year-old woman came out of the store. She put a brown paper bag in her car and told police that she had hit the other person's vehicle.

According to police officers, the woman appeared to have trouble maintaining her balance. They also smelled alcohol on her. After emergency medical personnel said that the woman did not appear to have a medical problem, police conducted sobriety tests. According to their report, she failed all of them.

Florida county introduces recidivism program for DUI offenders

A new program offers DUI offenders a second chance

The traditional criminal justice model often punishes offenders of drug- and alcohol-related crimes by imposing lengthy jail sentences. These types of traditional sentences can leave offenders with few opportunities to receive assistance in correcting their behavior.

Florida couple hit with drug charges after undercover deal

A couple in Florida is facing drug charges after they allegedly sold cocaine in a Walgreens bathroom on March 1. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said that they sold cocaine to an undercover operative posing as a buyer inside the bathrooms of the popular pharmacy chain.

A police spokesperson said that the two arrests came as part of an undercover investigation that began earlier in the year to track drug crimes in the Florida Keys area. The undercover agent called the man, claiming that he wanted to purchase cocaine. While on the same phone call, the man handed over his phone to the woman, who allegedly set up the time and place for the drug sale to take place.

Ocala teacher charged with meth sales

Florida parents may be shocked to learn a second grade teacher has been arrested and charged with sale and possession of methamphetamine. According to public records, the Marion County educator and two others were taken into custody after an investigation by the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST) and the Ocala Police Department.

After receiving information about the sale of controlled substances at a 10th Street residence, UDEST officials employed an undercover operation, which included the purchase of 49 grams of methamphetamine at the location. A search warrant was obtained, and a 6 a.m. raid by Ocala SWAT team members resulted in the arrests along with the discovery of multiple weapons, scales allegedly used in the sale of drugs, and other paraphernalia. Officers seized over $1000 in cash and two vehicles from the residence.

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