A man from Cape Coral, Florida was arrested on drug charges recently after a SWAT raid executed a search warrant of his premises, turning up numerous drugs and tens of thousands of dollars in money stashed around the house. The man is being held on $180,000 bond at the Lee County Jail.
The man faces many different drug charges, including selling drug, possessing drugs and distributing drugs near a school. The police say they have evidence (it is unclear if it is on video) of the man selling drugs in a parking lot near a school, though not on school property.
There are a couple of lessons to take away from this story. The first is the absurdity of the bail system. Bail amounts are often set at astronomical levels relative to the crime the person is accused of committing. This bail amount can force the individual to toil away in jail, making it more difficult for him or her to mount a practical legal defense (though not impossible). It could also force the accused individual to deal with extensive payments over the years after the criminal situation is settled.
The other element here is the school zone infraction. Many drug cases will have charges that seem superfluous. Conspiracy charges, zoning infractions, and added layers of federal charges are examples of this trend. This increases the amount of penalties the accused faces and makes it more likely that he or she would be willing to settle the case and accept a plea deal.
Both of these factors must be countered with experienced criminal defense counsel.
Source: NBC 2, “Cape heroin dealer busted for selling near school,” Feb. 1, 2017