News website www.nbcmiami.com reports that six employees at the Port of Miami have been charged with running a drug trafficking operation. It is alleged that this operation assisted in bringing narcotics into the United States from the Caribbean and Latin America.
The employees have been identified as union longshoremen. These arrests were reportedly made after a two-year operation conducted by state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Due to its distinction as a port city, Miami is a gateway for drugs entering the United States. From overseas, Miami sees a great deal of cocaine and heroin entering coming in from the Caribbean and Latin America.
Cocaine is probably the most common narcotic that comes into Miami via the port. Trafficking in cocaine is a serious felony, punishable by a maximum of 30 years in state prison. As with all trafficking charges, mandatory minimum sentencing applies depending on the weight of the drug.
Drugs such as marijuana and prescription pain medication tends to be manufactured and distributed locally. Miami-Dade County and Broward County have a large number of "pill mills" and marijuana grow houses, which is where these substances commonly come from.
It will be interesting to see what allegations the state and federal police agencies will make against the six accused longshoremen. Given the probable complexity of the operation, however, it is unlikely that these men "ran" what appears to be an international drug smuggling ring. I am willing to be that these longshoremen were probably the low men on the totem pole.
They will probably be offered favorable plea bargains if they testify against those above them.