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First Synthetic Drug Arrest in Florida

As readers of this blog know, state lawmakers have been working hard to keep up with the development of synthetic drugs and have outlawed the sale of many cocaine and marijuana analogs. Those watching the development of Florida's synthetic marijuana laws will not be surprised to learn that the state has made its first arrest for the distribution of the drug.

As reported by WPTV:

In January, a Jupiter police detective assigned to a DEA task force in West Palm Beach began an investigation into an alleged South Florida distributor of synthetic marijuana.

A confidential informant made a recorded call to Joel Howard Lester, 52, who is now sitting in the Palm Beach County Jail. Public records indicate Lester has lived in the Boca Raton area for the past few years. The informant, posing as a store owner who wanted to retail synthetic marijuana, met with Lester on Jan. 23 in West Palm Beach.

Lester told the informant he "was going to be very thankful because people were going to go crazy for the synthetic marijuana products," according to a criminal complaint.

The informant bought $300 worth of the substances — 50 one-gram packages of "Mr. Nice Guy," "Mary," and "Afterlife" that were fruit-scented.

The DEA sent the packages to one of the agency's testing laboratories, and the chemicals were found to be "analogs" of a compound on the banned list. Lester was arrested on March 30 for possessing with the intent to distribute an analog of a controlled substance, a charge that carries up to five years in prison.

The arrest follows a handful of others across the country, and law enforcement promises that more will follow. As the law currently stands, it is legal to possess synthetic marijuana. However, the sale of synthetic marijuana is illegal. If you are on probation, you can also be found in violation if you test positive for a marijuana analog.

If you or someone you know runs into legal trouble concerning synthetic drugs, call our office. The law offices of Bruce H. Denson are here to address your concerns.

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