The Sun Sentinel reports that Broward County veteran BSO Deputy, Eduardo Mesa, is in hot water these days. Mesa is accused of pilfering prescription drugs from a dead man’s belongings. The Sheriff’s office has released details of the event explaining that the charges Mesa faces are followed by the discovery of a bottle of prescription pills found in his patrol car this past July. The pills were prescribed to a man whose body was found, on the railroad tracks in Pompano Beach this past January.
According to investigators, Mesa was one of the police officers on duty responding to a pedestrian whom had been fatally struck by a train.
At the fatal crash scene, a homicide detective states specifically seeing a prescription bottle containing hydrocodone with the victim’s name. According to the sheriff’s office, during the train track fatality, Mesa was assigned to take custody of the deceased mans personal belongings including; clothing, identification and several prescription medications.
The following day Mesa submitted his written report, which investigators noticed hydrocodone and Klonopin were not listed.
A little more then a week later, following the written report, a homicide detective recorded a phone discussion with Mesa. During this record conversation the detective requested Mesa’s official incident report including the man’s belongings. It was then that Eduardo Mesa communicated that he had thrown everything into a dumpster, except the prescription medication. Contradicting Mesa’s formal written report, which made no reference to the prescription drugs. Later detectives confirmed that the prescription drugs were not submitted to the BSO Crime Lab.
In July, a search warrant was granted for public corruption detectives to search Mesa’s marked patrol vehicle. It was during this search that investigators found the victims labeled prescription bottle containing hydrocodone. According to Broward County sheriff’s office, investigators also discovered 26 alprazolam (XanaX) pills, however the Klonopin was not found.
In the arrest affidavit, Detective Joshua Webb states “…The same hydrocodone stolen from the scene was still in [Mesa’s] possession approximately six months later.” Webb also states “Probable cause exists to believe that [Mesa] intentionally falsified an official police report and inventory of the victim’s property to attempt to hide the fact that he stole hydrocodone from the victim’s belongings…”
Eduardo Mesa, employed by the sheriff’s office since 1998, was suspended without pay and taken into custody and then booked at the main Broward jail Tuesday. He is facing criminal charges including; armed trafficking in hydrocodone, possession of alprazolam, grand theft of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and official misconduct/falsifying public records.
The weight of the hydrocodone found, is approximately 19grams, which under Florida law constitutes as drug trafficking. Penalties for drug trafficking in the Broward County carry some of the most sever consequences including; a mandatory prison sentence. During the incident Mesa’s was armed when he stole the prescription medication resulting in an additional charged of armed trafficking. For more information about drug possession and drug trafficking penalties, you may contact criminal defense attorney William Moore in Broward County.
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Broward County Circuit Court Judge John Hurley is preceding magistrate judge for Mesa’s first appearance in court. Due to the fact that he was armed when he allegedly possessed the drugs, prosecutors requested the accused be held without bond for the charges of armed trafficking. However, Judge Hurley questioned the facts giving rise to the arrest finding the affidavit did not point to enough evidence proving Mesa should be held without bond. This resulted in the judge granting the bond.
On Thursday, September 4 2014, Sun Sentinel Broward Criminal news released an article stating that Mesa had been released.. According to Mesa’s attorney, the family posted the required $79,000 by putting their home as collateral. Sun Sentinel quotes drug attorney Alfero questioning the allegations. The family’s attorney has stated;
“I don’t see it as any kind of [criminal] intent if, in fact, the bottle [allegedly] found in his car in July has been sitting there for seven months,” he said. “It’s a little bit hard to understand or comprehend.”- Eduardo Mesa’s Attorney Tony Alfero
If found guilty; these charges will have a drastic effect on not only Mesa’s employment, reputation but also his freedom.
The definition of drug trafficking Under Florida Law is stated as the intentional to sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, possession, or transportation into Florida of a “trafficking amount” of drugs. Minimum-Mandatory Penalties of Drug trafficking Under Florida Law Statue 893. This includes a mandatory prison sentence and legal fines for trafficking.
Since Mesa was found with approximately 19grams of Hydrocodone he could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years prison and $50,000 in fines. However, the fact that the accused was armed when he allegedly stole the prescription drugs could possibly make his sentence more sever, resulting in the possibility of life imprisonment.
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