South Florida Law Enforcement Set Sights on New Synthetic Drug

South Florida has long been a hotbed for illegal narcotics, some of which include experimental and synthetic drugs. On Friday, the sentencing of a man who was given 10 years for importing the surgical painkiller fentanyl raised alerted authorities and the public to a new growing danger – a stronger synthesized version of fentanyl called W-18.

At the time of his arrest for importing fentanyl, the man was also in possession of W-18, a powerful synthetic opiate of considerable strength – believed to be as much as 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. What’s more – the man was not prosecuted for any crime related to W-18. This is because synthetic drugs are made by chemists – often amateurs – who switch out just enough molecules to create slightly different versions, or analogs, of a drug. Because of the different chemical structure, these analogs may not always be technically illegal.

Local police and drug enforcement have had a difficult time finding and pinpointing the source of W-18 throughout South Florida. However, at the time of his arrest, the man sentenced for fentanyl had 2.5 pounds of the fentanyl analog W-18 in his possession. This speaks volumes about the growing popularity of the drug and opiates in general. Opiate deaths continue to skyrocket in Florida, many of which involve heroin cut with synthetic opiates like W-18.

For law enforcement, the problem is nothing short of alarming because there are real repercussions in communities and the lives of local residents. As such, they devote a considerable amount of effort and resources toward ramping up drug crime enforcement, including investigations and sting operations.

Unfortunately, as our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys have seen as prosecutors and defense advocates, law enforcement overzealousness can lead to miscarriages of justice, oversight, unfair treatment, and undeserved punishment. With new and unknown drugs rhetoric has deemed a scourge to society, the odds are often not in the favor of the accused.

To protect yourself in the event of an investigation or drug crime arrest, you need to work with proven defense attorneys. Hager & Schwartz, P.A. has defended the freedoms and futures of clients throughout Broward County and beyond in cases involving narcotics and synthetic drugs, including synthetics like Flakka. If you have questions about your case and rights, contact us today for a FREE confidential case evaluation.


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