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Daytona Beach couple accused of drug trafficking

Drug-related crimes are treated very seriously in Florida, and often come with extremely severe penalties. A conviction on a charge such as drug trafficking often carries a years-long mandatory prison sentence and extremely heavy fines. This is the situation that two Daytona Beach residents are faced with following their arrest this month, which was the result of a months-long police investigation.

The charges are being leveled against a 29-year-old man and his 31-year old girlfriend. Police say they first made contact with the couple over the summer, when they discovered a large amount of money in the woman's purse. Police claim the money was "bundled in a manner consistent with drug sales." The woman's boyfriend stated that he earned the money by doing construction work, though he was unable to prove this claim.

Investigators also apparently tapped the couple's phones, and listened in on several of their conversations. Police have not revealed whether any incriminating evidence was uncovered through their electronic surveillance, only stating that one of the couple used a street term common among drug dealers during a conversation in May.

Last week, the couple was arrested and charged with conspiracy to traffic 400 or more grams of cocaine, unlawful transportation of $300 or more and unlawful use of a two-way communication device to facilitate the commission of a crime.

Noticeably absent from the police report is any indication that the couple was actually in possession of illegal drugs during the investigation or arrest. Police have leveled conspiracy charges against the couple, which means that although the couple may not have committed any illegal acts, authorities intend to prove that the couple took some steps towards breaking the law in the future. Police say the conspiracy charges come as part of a much larger investigation into a suspected trafficking organization.

Conspiracy to commit a drug crime is a very serious charge that can result in long prison sentences, heavy fines, and confiscation of assets. Therefore, individuals accused of such crimes need to protect themselves by putting forward a strong criminal defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help individuals accused of drug crimes understand their options going forward, and ensure that the rights of the accused are protected throughout the entire process.

Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal, "Daytona couple charged in cocaine trafficking investigation," Katie Kustura, Nov. 9, 2012

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