A Florida man has been charged with various drug possession offenses after cocaine, marijuana and drug processing and packaging materials were discovered in his home and vehicle, according to a report from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. OCSO Deputies assisted by members of the Okaloosa County Street Crimes Unit conducted searches of the man’s vehicle and Fort Walton Beach residence on March 21. Media accounts do not reveal what may have led law enforcement to believe that the Lloyd Street property was being used to store and distribute drugs.
Before the search warrant was executed, the man admitted to deputies that a container in his garage contained about 10 grams of marijuana. However, when deputies looked inside the container, they say they found cocaine hydrochloride that had been packaged for sale along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia. A search of the kitchen reportedly led to the discovery of additional items of drug paraphernalia including a device used to grind marijuana. Deputies say they found more cocaine hydrochloride and drug packaging materials in the man’s car.
The man was taken into custody after field tests identified the substances discovered as cocaine and marijuana. The man faces a more severe sentence because the drugs were allegedly discovered within 1,000 feet of a school. Reports reveal that he was released from custody after posting an $11,000 bond.
The portable drug testing kits used by police in Florida are popular because they are inexpensive and straightforward to use. However, they have also been known to classify benign substances like baking powder as illegal drugs. When drug possession charges are based on the results of chemical tests conducted in the field, experienced criminal defense attorneys may call for more rigorous methods to be employed or charges to be dropped.