Police in Florida have reported that a large cache of weapons, illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia were discovered during the search of a Gifford home on March 29. A 38-year-old man has been taken into custody in connection with the seized items and is being held without bond at the Indian River County Jail. A Indian River County Sheriff’s Office representative said that the investigation into the man’s alleged activities began after members of the office’s Special Investigations Unit made two undercover narcotics purchases from him.
According to media accounts, IRCSO deputies were assisted in the operation by federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. During the search of the 44th Street residence, the agents and deputies are said to have discovered seven rifles and eight handguns. Two of the rifles had allegedly been modified for fully automatic use and another had been fitted with a sniper scope. Bump stocks that are used to enable fully automatic fire were also allegedly discovered.
In addition to the guns, deputies and agents are said to have found $12,000 in counterfeit money, $7,249 in cash, 360 grams of marijuana, 637 prescription pills, seven grams of cocaine and more than 16 ounces of codeine along with digital scales and drug packaging supplies. The man taken into custody faces a raft of charges, including 23 weapons counts and 12 narcotics counts.
The penalties for violating weapons and drug laws can be severe in Florida. When evidence against a client is strong, an experienced criminal defense attorney may seek to mitigate such charges by negotiating a plea agreement. Authorities could anticipate such an approach, which is why suspects are often initially charged with multiple counts. This is sometimes done to give prosecutors a commanding position from which to begin negotiations.