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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
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Traffic violations lead to stop and drug arrest

We have seen it happen so many times in Fort Lauderdale: a car is driven erratically and the driver is pulled over. After a search, the driver finds himself in custody on drug charges.

We read recently of this very same scenario playing out south of us in the Lower Keys. That is where a 52-year-old driver was observed by a police officer to be swerving his vehicle on a highway at about 3 in the morning. The man's pick-up crossed the center line 8 times before the police car's lights went on.

The man's Dodge Ram also swerved outside the yellow lines on the right-hand side of U.S. 1, the officer noted in his report. So the police lights went on and the man pulled over.

The driver told the cop that he was tired and knew he had been swerving. Beside him inside the vehicle was a 27-year-old passenger, who appeared to the officer to be shaking and nervous. When the passenger emptied his pockets, he dropped a plastic container that reportedly contained a small amount of marijuana.

The officer apparently requested assistance from Border Patrol, who arrived with a K-9 team to assist in a search of the pick-up. Police said that a search of the truck uncovered 1.8 pounds of plastic-wrapped marijuana stored in a compartment behind the driver's seat and beneath a rear seat.

The driver was arrested on a charge of possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana. The passenger was not taken into custody.

According to a news report, the driver then "came clean," confessing to deputies that he sells marijuana for $2,700 per pound. He reportedly said a ledger found in his truck contained the names of more than a dozen customers.

If you find yourself facing drug charges, think carefully before talking to police officers. Speak first with a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney about your rights, the evidence against you and the legal options available to you. 

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