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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office
Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer

Pot Grower Calls 911 on Himself after Hearing False Chopper Chase

A high speed chase recently led to a man who had apparently just been released from jail being arrested on An Edgewater, Florida man freaked out after hearing a helicopter flying close overhead above his storage unit. He apparently had been growing cannabis plants in the storage unit and assumed that the chopper carried a police unit that was out to arrest him. He rang 911 and told the dispatcher on duty that “he was the guy the chopper was looking for.” According to the Orlando Sentinel that first carried the story, the reason for the stupid move was that the man thought that he might get shot if the searchers found him with his plants.

In fact, the chopper’s presence had nothing to do with 47 year old Jasper Harrison at all. The people in the chopper had been responding to a report that the building next door to Harrison’s storage unit was the site of a suspicious death. There were no police or drug squads in the chopper but only newspaper reporters.

Harrison’s admission of his activities soon led to his arrest on two counts. He was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell as well as the cultivation of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

Florida has some of the strictest drug laws in the country and admitting that you have been growing marijuana before you are actually caught doing it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to be treated leniently. If you have been growing marijuana and have been arrested, then it must be stressed that only an experienced Florida drug crime attorney will be able to present the details in such a way that you are not punished more harshly than you should be. Hiring the right Florida criminal lawyer may lead to the evidence in your case being suppressed if it was illegally obtained by police.

In Florida, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. That means it is not accepted that the drug may have medicinal value and that it has a high potential for abuse. A growing number of states are changing the laws on marijuana but this has not happened in Florida despite several tries and the state in fact has a similar set of laws to those of the federal government on the possession or distribution of marijuana.

Harrison is in particular difficulty as a result of his admission because of the location of the storage unit, which is quite close to a school (within 1000 feet). Whether Harrison was intending to sell marijuana to school children or not, the mere proximity makes it a criminal act to grow the plant so close. It is a potential second degree felony punishable with a 3 year minimum mandatory prison term to grow the drug within 1,000 feet of a school, a public recreation area, a place of worship, a public housing facility or an assisted living area. This could mean a hard 3 year minimum prison term which can go as high as 15 years if convicted.

Harrison was also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell. This could mean a third degree felony conviction with a jail term of up to 5 years. The punishment in Florida for possession and possession with intent to sell depends on the amount of drug involved. The quantity of drugs found may mean another 3 year minimum mandatory prison term.

Of course, Harrison may have simply been growing the pot for his own use. Regardless of whether prosecutors can prove he was intending to sell the plants, the mere possession of it can bring on serious minimum mandatory prison terms depending on the weight or number of plants involved. Harrison will certainly need the help of an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer to ensure that whatever his real intentions were or the true weight or amount of plants involved are not exaggerated by an over eager prosecution.

If you are caught in a similar situation, exercise your right to remain silent, demand a search warrant before any searches take place no matter how much time it will take them to get one and ask for a lawyer immediately upon being questioned. As soon as you are allowed a phone call, use it to call your Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer and don’t get into any details with your lawyer until you meet face to face.

Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.

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