About time for another sex sting in Manatee and Sarasota

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It has been quiet on the sex sting front here in Sarasota. It is 2016 and there could be one running now in Pinellas County, but it is hard to tell. The Sheriff and the Clerk block the arrest information when the sex stings are running, and in Bradenton, the Manatee sheriff does not even let the people arrested make the required phone call. I checked the FDLE statistics and the sex stings seem to have peaked in 2014.  That does not mean they are not still running them, it is just that arrests seem to be down. Hopefully the police will put their resources more on prevention rather that entrapping otherwise lonely men looking to hook up with adults. As a sex crime lawyer, I have always advocated prevention. The police should be doing lectures in middle schools alerting kids to the dangers of the Internet. They should be giving lectures at PTA meetings giving parents advice on how to monitor what their kids are doing on the Internet.
In my experience (and I have handled 36 sex sting cases) the men that fall for the bait and switch tactics of the police are generally shy, introverted and unsophisticated. They are usually in adult dating or hookup sites looking for another adult. They get tempted by police posing as teenagers looking for experience. In reality, there are no young girls on the Internet looking for some older guy to teach them. That is all a ruse and if you see an ad or get a text suggesting that, it for sure is a cop. The police also pose as single parents looking for someone to teach their child about sex. That is ridiculous. No parent would do that. It is always an undercover police officer. The best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime.
Never chat with a minor. Never travel any distance to meet a minor. Never text or talk dirty with a minor. It will get you arrested, prosecuted and land you in State prison. You do not want to become a registered sex offender for life. Do not let your loneliness get you in trouble with the law.

If you are reading this too late or have a loved one who has been arrested for traveling to meet a minor, solicitation or enticement of a minor or attempted lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor, call 941 366 3506 for a free consultation.

Related Articles involving 2016 Sex Sting:

More-than-dozen-arrested-in-online-sex-sting 01/25/2016

2016 Largo report on Internet sex sting

Related Video By Pinellas County Sheriff on Operation Wayfarer:

 

 

Heroin Epidemic was Predictable and Preventable in 2015

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All across America, even here in affluent white Sarasota, heroin is cheap and available. Did you know that one of the leading causes of death of people under thirty five is drug overdose? In many States, drug overdose deaths exceed traffic and gun fatalities? Did you know that 80% of the people addicted to heroin were previously addicted to opiates like Oxycontin and Oxycodone? This epidemic started years ago when the drug manufacturers were pushing Oxycontin and Oxycodone. Thousands of people became addicted to the pills and as the pill mills flourished, heroin was not a big deal. When the law changed and the State wide data base was created for prescriptions, pills began to dry up. As the pills became more and more difficult to obtain, people switched to the cheaper and more readily alternative, heroin.
Now heroin overdose is a leading cause of death for young people. In both Sarasota and Bradenton, heroin arrests are up. Trafficking in heroin arrests continue to rise. The penalties for possession of heroin are harsh. It does not take much in terms of quantity to get charged with trafficking. An addict, buying or possessing a couple of days supply can easily get arrested for trafficking when is fact, they are a simple user.
As a criminal defense attorney handling drug crimes I understand addiction. What people need is help and treatment, not jail or prison. Addiction is an illness that causes crime. Most addicts eventually get charged with dealing in stolen property to support their habit. Many addicts get involved in burglaries, writing bad checks or stealing from relatives and employers, simply to support their addiction. Sadly, heroin addiction eventually leads to either prison or death. If a loved one has been arrested or a probation violation is in the works, I may be able to help. My goal is to help people and probation without treatment is a trap. Most addicts cannot make the tough choices and often it is up to relatives to help. If you have an addict in the family and want compassionate representation, call 941 366 3506 for a free consultation.

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Another man arrested in Alachua Sex Sting

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20150617-087

There was an additional arrest, the 22nd, in the Operation Panther, the latest sex sting in Gainesville. Interestingly, over half the men are in their early twenties or under. In the cases I have handled so far the pattern seems to be that the police are busting mostly young shy men who were on the Internet looking for other adults. It will be interesting to follow these cases through the Courts. In almost every case I have handled the undercover chatters actually ask the men to bring condoms or candy. This makes the men sound like real perverts when in fact it is the police that pose first as adults and then trick or tempt young men into meeting with a supposed teenager.

The issue in most of the cases is whether or not the police have used entrapment techniques.
Unfortunately, many of the men arrested had bonds set initially very high, ranging from $75,000 to $300,000. It is wise to hire an attorney before bond is posted. Often the bonds can be reduced and the money saved on bonds can be better spent hiring an experienced sex sting lawyer. The bondsman requires a ten percent fee to post the bond which you do not get back. If you get the bond reduced, you can use the saving elsewhere in actually defending your case.
Sadly some of those arrested were college students. Over and over in these sex stings young shy men get lured and tempted in chats, texts and sexually explicit Internet exchanges when all they were looking for was companionship. A sex crime conviction will ruin a young man’s life forever. They can end up in State prison, on sex offender probation or be required to register as a sex offender forever. A college student with a sex crime conviction and sex offender registration may not be able to go back to the same school. A conviction for a sex crime must be avoided at all costs. Every case is different and the facts have to be examined carefully. Who was doing the luring? Who was doing the seducing? Did it occur on an adult site like Craigslist.com? Was the young man entrapped? Sex Sting cases are not hopeless and a good defense may exist.
If a loved one was arrested, call 941 366 3506 for a free consultation.

Related Articles:

by the Gainesville Sun

News 4 Local News

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My First Arrest….Should I Use the Public Defender?

My First Arrest….Should I Use the Public Defender?20150617-042-Edit(1)CALL 941-366-3506

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If you have recently been arrested in Sarasota for possession of heroin, aggravated battery or a sex crime the most important decision you have to make is the hiring of a lawyer. Many people simply opt for a free lawyer from the Sarasota Public Defender’s office. If you are genuinely broke and cannot borrow money from friends or relatives, you have no choice and have to use the public defender. Ask yourself this question: If you had a serious medical issue that could cost you the use of an arm or leg, would you want to go to a public health clinic? A felony conviction, particularly for a sex crime is a life altering event. You lose important rights forever and may have to live with the handicap of sex offender probation. You can lose your driver’s license for a drug conviction and lose the ability to obtain licenses or jobs with a felony conviction.

You have to take an arrest seriously, just as you would some major illness. Are the Public Defenders any good?

Who is the best criminal lawyer in Sarasota?
Unfortunately, the assistant public defenders are overworked, overloaded and underpaid. They have to handle hundreds of cases and there are only so many hours in a day. They are also under paid and often do not stay in the office once they get some experience. The net result is that often, some of the assistants lack experience and may lack the drive to put in that extra effort that it takes to win. There is no such thing as the “best criminal defense attorney in Sarasota”. Some lawyers with slick advertising imply they are the “best” claiming to have high ratings. Some lawyers with slick advertising imply they are the “best” claiming to have high ratings.

Does the lawyer even have an office here in Sarasota or is he going to refer you to a lawyer here?

Look into the lawyer’s actual trial experience. There is no substitute for decades of actual courtroom experience.

How long has this lawyer actually defended cases?

Go meet with the lawyer. Make sure you are not dealing with a lawyer who will simply refer the case to someone else.

Does he or she impress you with appearance, knowledge of the law and drive?

Is this the lawyer you want standing next to you in the courtroom?

Does this lawyer handle only criminal cases?

Don’t go to a law firm mill and take a number. Make sure you are in good hands and get honest answers. Some lawyers will simply tell you what you want to hear to get you signed up. Honesty is important and you need to have a realistic evaluation of your case. Good lawyers don’t sugar coat it.

If you want an honest evaluation of your case, Call 941 366 3506 for a free consultation
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