Osceola County Sheriff Marco Lopez held a news conference last week, saying out of all the drug trafficking arrests made in 2022, none of the offenders were prosecuted for drug trafficking. On Monday, State Attorney Monique Worrell held a news conference and claimed that Lopez’s comments were misleading. She says 13 drug trafficking cases resulted in a minimum mandatory or higher sentence in 2022.
Worrell says that statistic is misleading. State and federal defense lawyer David Haas agreed.
“They take months, if not longer, to resolve. I would expect those cases have spilled into 2023,” he said.
Worrell says of the 68 drug trafficking cases presented to her office in 2022, 36 are pending, 12 were downgraded due to testing results and 12 others were dropped because of evidentiary issues.
“What a substance originally tests for may be different once the labs have a chance to do a thorough chemical analysis,” he said. “Sometimes there are proof issues with cases, too. There may be a bag of drugs in a car, but there are four people in the car.”
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