From the Miami Herald-
Florida Highway Patrol troopers made an unusual discovery when they stopped a speeding La Cubana bus early Wednesday afternoon on Alligator Alley.Is the Miami Herald article missing key facts or does transporting prescription medications now constitute a criminal offense in Florida. Don't say the later is impossible, for this story says otherwise.
The bus carried only carried a driver and a passenger. It also carried $1 million worth of prescription HIV drugs and $100,000 in cash.
The bus was stopped at mile marker 82 enroute to Miami.
The two men were arrested.
Tampa Airport Police arrested O'Hara in 2004 after they found 58 Vicodin pills and a small amount of marijuana in his illegally parked and unattended bread truck. He refused plea agreements before trial that would have given him one to three years in prison. Instead, jurors heard from two doctors who said they had been treating O'Hara since 1990 for pain relating to car accidents and gout.Being in possession of prescription medicine can get you 25 years in jail. Is the Florida justice system nuts? Yes $100,000 is a great deal of money to be hauling around. Is that a crime also or was the FHP making the arrest in order to seize the cash? Would the same police who send Mr. O'Hara to jail, make a bogus arrest just to seize a large sum of cash?
However, jurors were not told that it is legal to possess Vicodin with a prescription, which O'Hara had. He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking.
Some of the biggest crooks in South Florida, work in law enforcement. For an example, click here.
Update- The Herald now has more details.
As drug busts go, this one was highly unusual. The Florida Highway Patrol stopped a speeding bus on Alligator Alley and found it laden with $1 million worth of AIDS drugs. They arrested the two people onboard.Still is it a crime to be hauling Prescription HIV drugs? The cost of them, and whether the bus was being used in a ' non-cost efficient manner' doesn't constitute a crime.
The bus was stopped just after noon Wednesday at Mile Marker 82, on its way to Miami.
The brightly colored La Cubana shuttle bus carried a driver and 10 passengers, which the trooper did not believe was ``cost-efficient.''
The trooper noted the bus driver appeared nervous, and called for additional units.
When canine units arrived, they found suitcases in the luggage compartment stuffed with hundreds of bottles of 20 different prescription drugs for treating HIV.
The drugs were valued at over a $1 million.
They also found $126,000 in cash, wrapped in bundles with rubber bands.
Two men were arrested when authorities found their baggage claim numbers matched those of the drug-stuffed suitcases.
Oscar Omar Zabala of Miami and Juan Vasquez of New Jersey where taken to the Collier County Jail and charged with 20 felony counts.
They told authorities they did not know each other. However, both were carrying the same type of drug.
They said they were planning to deliver the drugs to family and friends in ''their country'' who are afflicted with HIV/AIDS and don't have the money to buy the drugs.
''We've made large busts before,'' said FHP Trooper Lt. Doug Dodson, ``But with oxycontin. Never anything like this. Some of those drugs, they would be $2,400 for a prescription.''
Both men denied ownership of the cash.
The money was turned over to Drug Enforcement Administration.
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