April 15 2017
It was bound to happen.
Manatee County is one of the top three locations in the United States for drug overdoses from Fentanyl and Carfentanil.
About a week ago, there were four deaths in a week and numerous other people that were saved by police and paramedics. Carfentanil is incredibly dangerous and even touching it in some instances can result in an overdose. As a criminal defense attorney this reminds me of the Federal crackdown years ago on crack. When the Feds get involved, you can expect to see life sentences. There is little you can do in terms of plea bargaining when the Federal Prosecutor is determined to get a life sentence.
Many of these cases are going to have to be fought vigorously in the Federal Courts.
I have defended cases in United States District Court for over thirty years. It is the big league and many times other local defense lawyers are clueless as to the real power of the Feds. The Feds are coming with forfeitures and when and Indictment comes down, it also comes down with a forfeiture count. In Federal Court, in a heroin case, you are probably going to be denied bond. Your vehicles will have been seized and the Federal Prosecutors try and tie up all your money so you can’t hire a private lawyer and have to use the Federal Public Defender. Even if a money bond is set, they will require what they call a Nebia hearing where you have to prove that the money for bond comes from non criminally derived sources.
Manatee County (Bradenton) is going to become the epicenter of Federal prosecution of heroin dealers.
The other problem with overdoses is that pills are now being sold on the street in both Sarasota and Bradenton that look like pharmaceutical Oxycontin. They are not Oxycontin. They are Fentanyl pressed and numbered to look like Oxycontin. They are deadly. There is also bogus Mexican brown heroin that is not really heroin. Fentanyl is being mixed with sugar and sold as heroin. As a Manatee and Sarasota criminal defense lawyer I understand the significance of the Feds getting involved. Many years ago as a young man, I was a Federal Agent and a Federal Prosecutor in Miami. When the Feds start handing out life in Federal prison, the stakes go up.