The Sheriff’s office in Bradenton announced the arrest of a drug suspect and the seizure of an enormous amount of cocaine, heroin and marijuana this week. The Sheriff’s office also said that a very large amount of cash was seized along with numerous vehicles. Cars can be taken and forfeited pursuant to the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act if they are used in the commission of a crime. The police use this act as a mechanism to forfeit vehicles to their department to be later sold at auction. The police also use this act to seize and later sell cars used by “johns” in prostitution stings. The forfeitures are a lucrative source of money for the various police departments.
In the latest drug case in Manatee County, the police took over $400,000 in cash as well as 38 vehicles, 33 firearms and a bunch of dogs. The firearms can be the basis for additional charges like possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or armed trafficking. Both charges greatly increase a person’s exposure to additional jail time. It is unclear at this time if wiretaps or tracking devices were used although these are common police detection methods. The police can also try and forfeit the houses used in the alleged drug trafficking. All of this can amount to a huge windfall when it comes to money for the agency involved.
In the latest Manatee drug bust, various members of the same family were arrested and are now sitting in jail on high bonds. The courts also set conditions on posting bond requiring a “Nebia” hearing. This means that whoever posts bond has to show a legitimate source of collateral and bond premium. This makes it tough for an alleged dealer to bond out.
As a Manatee and Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, my prediction is that there will be more charges. If you have questions, call 941 366 3506 for a free consultation
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