Investigators arrest 17 for dealing drugs

The opioid epidemic has been hitting the Treasure Coast of Florida community hard. A series of investigations by the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department led to the arrest of 17 people for allegedly possessing and selling cocaine, heroin and fentanyl. A detective from the sheriff's department said that the efforts of law enforcement appear to have decreased the number of narcotic overdoses in the region.

Among the 17 people arrested were two brothers, ages 33 and 34, who police said played significant roles in drug distribution in St. Lucie County. The detective said that investigators began to focus on them after a mass arrest of people allegedly involved in selling heroin out of a restaurant on Okeechobee Road. Law enforcement's most recent searches reportedly turned up firearms, 6 ounces of heroin and a large amount of fentanyl at 1.5 pounds. This powerful painkiller has a strength 50 times higher than heroin.

The younger of the two brothers faces the bulk of drug charges with authorities aiming more than 50 different criminal accusations at him. The charges emerged from multiple accusations of selling heroin and using a cellphone to arrange drug transactions.

Prosecutors typically derive as many drug charges as possible from the evidence presented by law enforcement. A person confronted by this situation might want the insights of a criminal defense attorney before entering a plea. An attorney may be able to challenge the validity of evidence or the actions of law enforcement in an attempt to get charges reduced or dismissed. The representation of an attorney might also enable the person to arrange a plea deal with lenient terms.

Source: TC Palm, "17 drug arrests include man jailed on more than 50 charges in St. Lucie County", Will Greenlee, May 21, 2018

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