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Man sentenced for drug crimes in Florida

One man in Florida was recently sentenced to time in prison on several charges involving drugs. The drug crimes he committed include selling cannabis. The man is 63.

Calling himself Mr. 420, the Indialantic man had previously opened a marijuana-based business in downtown Melbourne with his wife in 2015. After police investigated the man, they accused him of selling phony medical pot licenses that bore the county government seal along with selling/distributing marijuana bags. The man ended up being taken into custody during a raid after he sold an undercover police officer one ounce of cannabis for a total of $300 from an automobile.

The man was convicted of scheming to defraud under $20,000 (one count), selling and delivering cannabis (eight counts), and possessing under 20 grams of the drug (eight counts). The prosecution dropped many extra charges per the terms of a plea deal. The man was sentenced to four years behind prison bars. However, he was credited for more than 290 days of jail time he had already served.

When a person in Florida is accused of committing drug crimes, he or she may be given the opportunity to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors, which may lead to a lighter sentence for the accused than what would result from a guilty verdict at trial. The person may instead proceed to trial to vigorously fight his or her drug charges. At trial, the charges must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt; otherwise, no conviction can be secured. This standard exists with the goal of preventing innocent people from being found guilty of crimes they did not commit.

Source: floridatoday.com, "Melbourne's "Mr. 420" found guilty of 16 drug charges", Rick Neale, Feb. 15, 2016

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