An arrest and conviction on drug charges has serious physical, emotional and social consequences. A Florida man from Eustis, charged with drug possession and intent to sell, will spend at least a decade in federal prison instead of forwarding his career as a real estate agent.
The 49-year-old was taken into custody a year ago and recently pleaded guilty to methamphetamine possession and drug trafficking. A maximum sentence could put the realtor behind bars for the rest of his life.
The Lake County man was looking forward to taking over as president of a two-county realtors group until his arrest in July 2011. A guilty plea ended a promising future.
Fruitland Park police were assisted by the defendant's estranged wife in the man's capture. Court documents say a FedEx package of drugs hidden inside a bag of cat food was sent to a title company in Leesburg under an unauthorized real estate client's name.
A notification of delivery was emailed to an account owned by the defendant's wife. She picked up the package and took it to authorities. Officers found over 200 grams of methamphetamine wrapped in individual plastic bags buried inside the larger bag of cat food.
The realtor's defense attorney will examine whether police followed proper procedures during the defendant's arrest. A federal judge may have to determine whether officers lured the realtor into committing a crime or merely used the opportunity to catch an offender with criminal intent.
Source: articles.orlandosentinel.com, "Lake real-estate agent who hid meth in Meow Mix faces prison for trafficking," Ludmilla Lelis, July 6, 2012