On Feb. 26, authorities arrested a Florida woman on multiple drug charges stemming from a van search conducted in January. The incident took place at the Marathon Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission station in Key West.

According to police records, the 25-year-old defendant was talking to FWC officers about turning over her boat, which was damaged in Hurricane Irma, to be destroyed free of charge. During the conversation, the officers said they smelled a “faint” marijuana odor coming from her van. They searched the vehicle and allegedly found 2 ounces of ecstasy, 22.8 grams of cocaine, 5.5 grams of marijuana, 2.7 grams of hash oil and several types of prescription drugs, including oxycodone. They also found a scale and packaging materials.

The defendant, who was apparently living in the van, faces felony charges of possession of marijuana, cocaine and opium, possession of a controlled substance, possession of prescription drugs with the intent to sell, amphetamine trafficking over 14 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. She has also been charged with two misdemeanors. She is being held at the Stock Island Detention Center on a $170,000 bond.

Drug charges carry harsh penalties in Florida if a conviction is obtained. However, a criminal defense attorney could review the case and use a number of defense strategies to get the charges reduced or dismissed. For example, if an attorney discovers a defendant’s vehicle was illegally searched, the charges could be dropped. It may also be possible to prove that the seized drugs did not belong to the defendant.

Source: FL Keys News, “She turns over Irma-damaged boat to FWC, then drugs found while she signs the papers land her in jail“, Katie Atkins, Feb. 27, 2018