A 44-year-old father and his 24-year-old son were arrested last week by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies for trafficking in cocaine in Tampa. Joseph Quintana Sr. and Joseph Quintana Jr., 24, both Tampa residents, had reportedly been the subject of a five-month investigation.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the Quintanas were distributing cocaine from a business at 2502 East Wilder Ave., Tampa, which is directly across the street from Middleton High School.
Joseph Quintana Sr. was charged with trafficking in cocaine, delivery of cocaine, conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and driving while license canceled, suspended or revoked.
Joseph Quintana Jr. was charged with trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. An alleged associate of the Quintanas is the subject of an arrest warrant for trafficking in cocaine. Josue Cesar Miguel Torena is alleged to be a part of the Quintana’s drug operation.
Under Florida’s drug statutes, any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, more than 150 kilograms cocaine faces a trafficking charge, which is a first degree felony. Possession or sale of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school is also a first degree felony. The Quintanas face life sentences if convicted.
Florida’s law governing drug trafficking takes away almost all discretion from the sentencing judge, even if the defendant is a first-time offender. Prosecutors, however, have the power to waive the minimum mandatory prison sentence if the defendant cooperates with law enforcement in an investigation. With multiple defendants in this case, it would not be surprising to see one or more of the defendants to cooperate with the prosecution against the others.
Because of the seriousness of mandatory sentences, it is very important to talk with an experienced Florida drug defense attorney if you face trafficking charges in the Tampa Bay area.