Charles L. Truncale
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Florida school security guard facing drug charges

A 43-year-old Florida man who has worked as a high school security guard for 16 years has been charged with drug possession and drug trafficking. A Miami-Dade County Public Schools representative told reporters that the man was fired from his position at Felix Varela Senior High School when news of the Nov. 5 arrest was made public. However, police say that they have yet to uncover evidence suggesting that the man sold drugs to students.

The man was taken into custody after his vehicle was stopped and searched. Officers say that they had probable cause to search the car because they observed the man engaging in what appeared to be a drug transaction at a Hammocks District gas station. An anonymous tip is what is said to have sparked police interest in the man. The search of the man's vehicle allegedly led to the discovery of about 1 gram of cocaine and a THC vaporizer cartridge.

The results of the car search were enough to convince a judge to allow the man's 154th Court residence to be searched. This search allegedly yielded 29.4 grams of cocaine, 790 grams of marijuana, $1,890 in cash and several items that officers say indicated the man was involved in the narcotics trade. The man faces an enhanced sentence because he is accused of selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

The penalties for drug distribution are severe in Florida, but prosecutors may be willing to reduce them in return for a speedy conclusion even when their evidence appears convincing. Experienced criminal defense attorneys could remind prosecutors that narcotics trials are expensive and arguing a case before a jury always involves a certain amount of risk.

Source: WPLG Local 10 News, "Miami-Dade school security guard arrested on multiple drug charges", Amanda Batchelor, Nov. 6, 2018

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