9 July – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced today that a federal grand jury in Fort Pierce, Florida, returned a five (5) count Indictment against defendant, Melissa Marie Hoffpauir. The Indictment charges Hoffpauir, with attempted manufacture of five (5) grams or more of methamphetamine (Count 1), possession of pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine (Count 2), possession of five (5) grams or more of methamphetamine (Count 3), and two (2) counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a drug-related felony (Counts 4 and 5).
Counts 1 and 3 of the Indictment each carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five (5) years and a maximum of forty (40) years. Count 2 has no mandatory minimum but carries a maximum prison sentence of twenty (20) years. Count 4 carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of five (5) years, and Count 5 carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of twenty-five (25) years. Accordingly, upon conviction of these charges, Hoffpauir faces a total mandatory minimum sentence of thirty-five (35) years’ imprisonment, a maximum potential sentence of forty (40) years’ imprisonment, and fines totaling up to $5 million.
This case developed from a month long investigation conducted by the Port St. Lucie Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Law enforcement seized items related to a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory, the components of a methamphetamine laboratory, a quantity of methamphetamine, and the weapons that are the basis for the charges in the Indictment.
Mr. Acosta stated, “The United States Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement remain committed to identifying and prosecuting those who establish laboratories with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, especially where such persons also possess illegal firearms. It is difficult to imagine a more dangerous combination for our community than mixing drugs with guns.”
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Port St. Lucie Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim McAdams.