Twenty-one people were arrested and a variety of drugs and one weapon were seized in Florida during a police sting. The target of the operation was a plant nursery in Orange City that has been called a “drug compound” by those close to the case.
Police took 21 of the 27 people found on the nursery property into custody, including the plant nursery owner. The people on the property were reportedly found sleeping on the ground and in the pole barns. The drugs, which included cocaine, hash, methamphetamines, cannabis and heroin, along with a .35-caliber rifle were all seized and removed from the property.
The police operation, which was a cooperative effort by several criminal investigations and narcotics teams, reportedly received anonymous tips, complaints and calls about the plant nursery for several months prior to the sting. Neighbors complained of trucks being driven in and out of the nursery both night and day, loud noises, drug paraphernalia littering the area and vagrant activity. Police began investigating the case and eventually sent an undercover police officer in to buy methamphetamines. Officers say that search warrants were obtained for two homes on the plant nursery property.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from “unreasonable search and seizure.” As such, it’s important that a search warrant is legally obtained before searching any home or private property for drugs or weapons. Without the evidence from a drug seizure, it may be difficult for prosecutors to press charges, though not impossible. In the case of an individual who was arrested for drug possession, a lawyer may look into whether the search warrant was legally issued, if it was both reasonable and specific to the area searched and if the proper procedures for seizing any drugs or weapons found were done properly.