Police say cell phone store was used to distribute drugs

Law enforcement officials in Florida say that a Clay County cell phone store was used to distribute significant quantities of methamphetamine and heroin. The narcotics investigation led to at least a dozen people being taken into custody on Sept. 11. Initial reports do not reveal how many of the individuals taken into custody are alleged to have sold drugs and how many are suspected of being customers.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office gathered evidence by sending an undercover deputy into the store to arrange narcotics transactions. A CCSO representative said that drug users would begin gathering outside the store before it opened and become impatient when they were forced to wait. The representative compared the daily occurrence to a Black Friday shopping crowd. One of the store workers taken into custody is said to have told deputies that he never sold a cell phone or any cell phone accessories.

The CCSO say that they have uncovered no evidence that suggests the owner of the store was involved in or had any knowledge of the alleged narcotics distribution. The Orlando resident owns several Florida cell phone outlets according to media reports. During the Sept. 11 operation, a search of the store is said to have led to the discovery and seizure of an undisclosed amount of drugs.

Prosecutors often find it relatively straightforward to secure cooperation when narcotics investigations lead to the arrest of multiple suspects. In these situations, they will often make a generous plea offer that is withdrawn as soon as at least one defendant steps forward to cooperate. This is why criminal defense attorneys may advise individuals who are facing drug crime charges and would be tempted by such an offer to act quickly. However, attorneys could first study police reports to assess the strength of the evidence against their clients and check to see that law enforcement acted properly.

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