Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 6, 2013 - In what could have been a scene from a movie, a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy was caught buying fake Oxycodone pills.
“While this may sound like an open and shut case,” indicated Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney, “it likely isn’t, as things are rarely as they seem in circumstances like these. The deputy is considered innocent until proven guilty and deserves a solid criminal defense.”
According to the arrest records, the deputy was charged with possession of synthetic narcotics, possessing a controlled substance without the benefit of a prescription, possessing a drug kit and conspiracy to buy narcotics. He was taken to jail on arrest.
An undercover operation nabbed the deputy as he was working in a marked patrol vehicle. He had allegedly made arrangements to buy what he thought were Oxycodone pills from a dealer. He was sold ten fake pills. The instant the transaction was complete officers arrested the deputy and searched his patrol car, allegedly finding the fake pills, in addition to a dozen hydromorphone pills, stashed in the glove compartment.
“This sounds really bad on first blush,” Grajek pointed out, “but there are a number of legal issues that need addressing, such as did the undercover officers need a search warrant to search the deputy or the patrol car? Did they have the right or probable cause to conduct a search of the deputy and his vehicle? Was a K-9 sniffer dog used and was the deputy held during that time? Was the search and seizure conducted in a timely manner? Were the drugs actually found on the deputy or somewhere else? As you can see, these and other issues could change the face of this case.”
Others issues that may arise during the course of mounting a defense for this deputy may revolve around whether or not the sniffer dog used, if any, was reliable, would the search hold up in court, can the search be thrown out of court and can evidence used against the deputy be suppressed, thrown out of court or excluded?
“Despite what the case may look like from the outside looking in, there are a number of possible defenses for the deputy, including a motion to suppress to have the evidence against him tossed out. One should never automatically assume that just because the man was charged with a crime, that he actually committed that crime,” Grajek added.
Everyone is entitled to their day in court and a criminal defense. It is not too much of a stretch of the imagination to consider that every day people are charged with and convicted of crimes they did not commit.
Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
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