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Tampa Criminal Lawyer > Blog > Drug Crimes > Facing Drug Charges In The Age Of Operation Phantom Chase

Facing Drug Charges In The Age Of Operation Phantom Chase


For decades, lawmakers acted as though being as “tough on crime” as possible was the best way to win the “war on drugs” and prevent overdose deaths.  In recent years, as the discipline of addiction medicine has evolved and as the reasons and means of obtaining drugs have changed, laws have also changed, too.  The overprescribing of opioids beginning in the 1990s means that many people first heard the siren song of drugs at a pharmacy, and not on a street corner, and then new regulations abruptly withdrew the supply of prescription opioids, leaving in their wake many thousands of people who were physically dependent on opioids and whose only option was the illegal ones.  Likewise, unlike in the 1980s, you can now buy almost any kind of drug on the Internet if you know where to look.  On the one hand, Florida has enacted the Good Samaritan Act where you are immune from prosecution if you call 911 to seek help for an overdose victim, even if you are under the influence of drugs or have drugs in your possession.  On the other hand, ever since Florida instituted Operation Phantom Chase, you can get charged with manslaughter or worse if a person to whom you provided drugs suffers a fatal overdose.  To find out more, contact a Tampa drug crime lawyer.

South Florida Man Gets 30 Years in Prison for Selling Fentanyl That Caused Overdose

Jean Jameson of Fort Lauderdale always bought heroin from the same supplier.  One day in 2018, he bought ten capsules and sold half of them to Andrew Milligan and half of them to an undercover officer.  The undercover officer tested the capsules at a lab and found that they contained fentanyl, a synthetic opioid about 50 times stronger than heroin.  Milligan, however, injected the contents of the capsules and suffered a fatal overdose.

Milligan had moved to Florida to live in a sober living house after completing inpatient addiction treatment in his home state of New Jersey.  Milligan’s addiction began, like so many others, when a doctor prescribed him opioids for an injury and ended, like so many others in the Florida shuffle, where people come to Florida seeking sobriety but only find substandard treatment and opportunities to relapse.  Milligan presumably thought the capsules he bought from Jameson contained heroin, and Jameson probably thought the same thing.

Jameson is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence, which began in 2019, when he was convicted of causing Milligan’s fatal overdose.  Unless he becomes eligible for parole sooner, he will be in his 60s when he gets out of prison.

Contact Tampa Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven

Most drug crimes are nonviolent, but that does not stop Florida prosecutors from trying to make an example of defendants in drug cases.  A drug crimes defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of possessing, transporting, selling, or manufacturing drugs.  Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.



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