Sarasota police announced that 20 individuals have been charged with dealing drugs as part of an undercover investigation known as Operation Corner Stone. Of those charged, 16 have been arrested so far, and police are still looking for the other four.
Those arrested face a total of 559 felony charges for distributing various narcotics, which included cocaine, spice, prescription drugs and heroin. The suspects were previously convicted of 174 different felonies. Police allege that the suspects were openly selling the illegal narcotics throughout the city. Of those charged, 18 were men, and two were women.
According to the police chief, Operation Corner Stone first began in early 2017 and concluded in October 2017. The investigation was part of a Drug Market Initiative that was designed to get drug dealers off the streets that began in 2012. The department is working with the state attorney’s office to seek the maximum penalties possible.
After someone is arrested for felony drug charges, a lawyer could look into the details of the case. Most drug violation charges occur from search and seizures. Since the drugs themselves are the primary evidence in the case, it’s necessary that the search and seizure of the drugs occurred legally. This means that a search warrant, consent or probable cause in exigent circumstances is necessary for evidence from a search and seizure to be admissible in court.
In this case, most of the individuals who were arrested were allegedly openly selling the drugs on the streets. If an illegal search and seizure of the drugs was performed, the drug evidence will not be allowed to be part of the evidence against the suspects. Without this evidence, a lawyer may be able to get the case against the defendants dismissed.
Source: Bradenton Herald, “Police charge 20 with dealing drugs,” Ryan Callihan, November 8, 2017