Former NYPD “Officer of the Year” Faces Drug Charges

A recent Sun-Sentinel article reports that federal charges were recently brought against Phillip LeRoy, a former decorated New York City cop, alleging he took part in a drug deal valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. LeRoy claims his childhood friend, who had arranged to purchase almost two dozen pounds of cocaine from an undercover officer, had not told him about the drug deal when they went on a road trip together from New York to Florida. The former officer could face up to 20 years in prison If found guilty of the charges brought against him. According to the article, LeRoy will remain in prison – without bond – until trial.

Drug Crimes & Penalties

Federal and Florida law prohibits the cultivation or manufacture of controlled substances. These laws also forbid the distribution, sale or purchase of these drugs. Individuals arrested or found guilty of drug crimes may have their property seized by the federal and or state government and sold under the authority of asset forfeiture laws. If you or someone you know has been accused of violating federal or Florida drug laws, contact a drug crime defense lawyer immediately.

In Florida, even a minor drug offense conviction could result in the suspension of one’s driver’s license for two years. Minimum mandatory prison sentences – without the possibility of early release – may occur for more serious drug offenses. The most common types of drug crimes include:

  • Sales and/or distribution – almost always classified as a felony under Florida law, the type of drug and amount of quantity will determine the penalties if convicted.
  • Possession – this can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the type of drug found on the accused.
  • Trafficking – if convicted, the minimum penalty under Florida law is a $25,000 fine and 3 years in prison.
  • Intent to sell and/or deliver – more serious than mere possession, prosecutors can allege intent based solely on the amount of drugs found.

On top of incarceration and financial penalties, a person convicted of drug crimes may face other ancillary consequences, including: a lifetime ban from possessing firearms if convicted of a felony drug offense; ineligibility to work in a state government job; prohibition from renting or residing in public housing; ineligibility from receiving certain forms of educational scholarships and/or financial aid; and prohibition from adopting or becoming a foster parent in Florida.

Contact a Drug Crime Defense Attorney

Because drug crime charges can be serious and may result in severe penalties and fines, an experienced and aggressive defense attorney who understands the several defenses available is a necessity for anyone facing such legal trouble. When facing drug crime charges, knowledgeable legal counsel may assert the defense that the U.S. and Florida Constitutions require that all searches and seizures conducted by the government must be reasonable. As such, any search must be justified at its inception and reasonable in its scope. Contact the Florida law office of Carl H. Lida today for advice and assistance with your case. Call (954) 472-5001.

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