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Obama commutes life sentence of Sanford drug dealer
Federal laws regarding drug trafficking or distribution provide strict penalties to those who are involved in the selling and transportation of illegal drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs. However, in a bid to give a second chance to the suspects arrested under harsh sentencing laws, the former American president Barrack Obama commuted the sentence of over thousand jail inmates arrested for various drug-related offenses. Recently, on Nov. 4, 2016, the president granted relief to Roger Gaston, 47, who was arrested 18 years ago on drug-related charges, from the Orlando International Airport.
Gaston was sentenced to life imprisonment by an Orlando federal jury on charges of conspiring to buy crack cocaine in Miami and distributing it in the Sanford area. Gaston is now expected to be released from a medium-security federal prison in Virginia on March 4, 2017.
“I’m excited like any mother would be,” said Gaston’s mother Rosebud Roundtree, 68, who was overjoyed on hearing the news. “The wrong that was done to him, God has straightened it out,” she said. She played a major role in the release of her son by collecting letters of support showing that Gaston was a changed person now and could be offered another chance to return to the society. Carlos Ward, the foreman of a prison factory where Gaston worked, highly recommended his services and wrote for an early commutation of his sentence.
Interestingly, after commuting Gaston’s sentence, Obama went on to commute the sentences of 79 other prisoners two weeks later, raising the total number of commutations during his tenure to 1,023.
Drug trafficking is on the rise across Florida
The state of Florida serves as a major entry point for cocaine and other drugs into the United States. In fact, in the recent past, there has been a phenomenal surge in drug trafficking incidents throughout the state, with the most common incidents being possession of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, as well as prescription drugs.
Mexican drug traffickers use speed boats to sneak into the shores, along with their consignments of marijuana and cocaine, leaving federal authorities to resort to newer technologically advanced equipment to nab the culprits. The modus operandi of smugglers is to ship drugs through the Bahamas via go-fast boats, fishing boats, small commercial freighters, and maritime shipping containers, or even cruise boats, which blend into the legitimate local traffic that plies on these waters. Generally, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are the focal points for transporting narcotic substances from South America to Central Florida.
Although authorities are conducting regular drug busts and other investigations to nab drug traffickers, they need to further tighten the law to deal with the ever-growing problem. Drug trafficking is considered as a first-degree felony, providing severe punishment to those proven guilty of the offense.
Battling the menace of addiction
An addiction to any substance is harmful and requires speedy intervention. Thus, it is important to spread awareness that drugs are harmful and one must stay away from them. If you or your loved one is battling addiction to drugs or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The Orlando Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get the best treatment to fight addiction. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 407-545-6829 or chat online for further assistance.