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Florida sheriff spoke harshly to those accused of selling heroin

A major drug bust led a particular Florida sheriff to hold a news conference on a recent Thursday. He reportedly spoke quite harshly to those accused of selling heroin. The situation is linked to a three-month undercover drug investigation.

As a result of the extensive probe, 17 people were arrested. One suspected heroin dealer is now facing federal charges related to another person's death. There are several other deaths the sheriff says detectives hope to pin on a few of the suspected traffickers in custody.

Images of deceased people who reportedly overdosed on heroin earlier this year were shown at the start of the news conference. The sheriff said he believes the suspected heroin dealers are responsible for the deaths and should therefore not be categorized as non-violent offenders. He also said where drugs are present, it's usually safe to assume firearms are as well and that the risk of violence in such circumstances is very high.

It's one thing to arrest someone in Florida and charge him or her with a heroin crime. It's quite another to speak as though a guilty verdict is already handed down even before a trial has taken place. Anyone accused of a serious drug crime is presumed innocent unless proved otherwise in court. If a defendant believes law enforcement officers have violated personal rights in some way, the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be sought to rectify the situation in court; in fact, sometimes evidence proffered by prosecutors in such situations winds up being deemed inadmissible by the court.

Source: wtsp.com, "Polk Sheriff Judd announces major heroin bust", April 20, 2017

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