Thursday, October 29, 2015

Marco crushes Jeb

I love watching these debates and seeing what advocacy works and what doesn't.  Watch Marco crush Jeb with this counter-punch:

Would a more effective attack be about judicial nominations?  Rubio won't give the blue-slip on his own judicial nominee:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) keeps taking heat for skipping out on his Senate duties while he's out on the presidential campaign trail. But he's still effective at one thing in the upper chamber: blocking his own judicial nominee.
Rubio is withholding his so-called "blue slip" from the Judiciary Committee to prevent Florida district judge nominee Mary Flores from advancing. The committee won't let any nominee move forward until it has blue slips -- they're literally blue pieces of paper that reflect a senator's support -- from both of a nominee's home-state senators. Florida's other senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, turned in his blue slip eight months ago. But nothing from Rubio.
The weird part is that Rubio supports Flores. He and Nelson recommended her to President Barack Obama, and the president formally nominated her to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in February. She's now been waiting for a hearing for 242 days, but can't move without Rubio's sign-off. She would fill a seat that's been empty for 532 days, and that court is so overloaded with work that it's considered a judicial emergency.
Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos said the senator "takes very seriously" his role in confirming judges to the federal bench.
"The Senate Judiciary Committee is still conducting a full review of the nominee’s background and record," Burgos said. "After that review is complete, Senator Rubio will make his own determination based on the committee’s review and his own further review."
It's a curious argument given that Rubio himself recommended Flores. It's also a self-defeating one: Turning in a blue slip has no effect on a committee's review of a nominee. A spokeswoman for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee chairman, said Flores' nomination isn't moving because of Rubio's outstanding blue slip and because a committee review is underway.
Republicans have been slow-walking Obama's judicial picks all year, and prolonged "committee reviews" is one way they can keep doing it. The GOP calculation is that Obama will be gone after 2016, at which point a Republican could be in the White House. If they can hold out until then, they can give GOP-picked judges lifetime jobs on the federal bench.

HT Glenn Sugameli

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Michael Szafranski sentenced to 2 1/2 years

Judge Dimitrouleas issued the sentence in this Rothstein-related case. From the Sun-Sentinel:
Michael Szafranski told a crowded courtroom Monday that he betrayed his family and friends, lied, sinned and violated both U.S. law and the strict religious rules he was raised to follow.
"I come before you ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated by my actions," Szafranski told U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas before being sentenced for helping Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein rip off millions of dollars from investors, including members of his synagogue. "To say I am remorseful is an understatement."
Szafranski, 37, of Surfside, was sentenced to 2.5 years in federal prison after the judge agreed to follow a recommendation from the prosecution and defense. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy in July.
He sobbed as he hugged his wife goodbye and was taken into custody in the Fort Lauderdale courtroom.
Szafranski said greed drove him to become a "despicable person" and that he has done everything he can think of to try to atone for what he did.
Szafranski "made full restitution" to victims five years ago when he paid more than $6.5 million to the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm bankruptcy trustee, his attorney wrote in court records. That amount represented more than 90 percent of his family's assets, the defense said.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Coaches matter (so do lawyers).

See, e.g., UM and the Dolphins.

Monday notes:

1.  Don't laugh during sentencing or your sentence can be doubled.

2.  Finally some relief for the crazy expensive prison calls.

3.  Judge Emmet Sullivan says give drug defendants a break (like corporations get).  Here's his opinion: "Drug conspiracy defendants are no less deserving of a second chance than bribery conspiracy defendants. And society is harmed at least as much by the devastating effect that felony convictions have on the lives of its citizens as it is by the effect of criminal convictions on corporations."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Judge Ungaro published in U.M. Law Review

The intro from, Hon. Ursula Ungaro, Foreword: The Evolution of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals: A New Era of Diversity on the Bench, 69 U. Miami L. Rev. 929 (2015):
From a historical perspective, 2014 was a pivotal year for the youngest circuit court in the nation. Within a four-month period, three new judges were confirmed and sworn in to serve on the Eleventh Circuit—all having clerked for distinguished Eleventh Circuit judges and all of them women. Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, a former U.S. District Judge, U.S. Magistrate Judge, and Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, was elevated to the seat left vacant by Judge Rosemary Barkett. Judge Julie E. Carnes, a former U.S. District Judge and Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia, assumed the seat vacated by now Senior Judge James Edmondson. And Judge Jill A. Pryor, formerly a litigation partner at the Atlanta-based law firm of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, holds the seat left vacant by Judge Stanley Birch. This dramatic turnover of a quarter of the court’s authorized judgeships transformed the Eleventh Circuit into one of the most gender-balanced federal appellate courts in the country, with five active female judges to the court’s six active male judges.
There is no doubt that the new judges will enjoy long careers in which they will have ample opportunity to influence the development of the law of the circuit. More immediately, however, their confirmations provide the court with much needed relief. Traditionally, the Eleventh Circuit has been among the busiest circuits, annually shouldering over 500 appeals per judgeship. By December 2013, however, the court had four judicial vacancies and found itself unable to staff its panels with at least two Eleventh Circuit judges. This compelled Chief Judge Carnes to declare a judicial emergency under 28 U.S.C. § 46(b). On October 17, 2014, following the confirmations of the new judges, Chief Judge
Carnes issued General Order 42, vacating the emergency designation. With the confirmation of the new judges, there are now eleven active judges. But the Eleventh Circuit actually has twelve authorized judgeships, the same number as when it was first created. While twelve is a small number in relation to the population now served, and the judges theoretically could request additional judgeships under the judiciary’s own guidelines, Congress has declined to authorize any additional appellate judgeships since 1990. Even if it were inclined to do so, the Eleventh Circuit judges likely would not seek additional positions; they have consistently voiced their opposition to expansion of the court, citing the efficiency, collegiality, coherence, and predictability in the development of law that come with a smaller court.
In 2014, the merit of those values was evident. Incredibly, in 2014, 6,087 appeals were filed and 6,239 appeals were terminated. Though hindered by four judicial vacancies for the greater part of the year, the court terminated 3,796 appeals on the merits and 356 through written decisions, more than any other circuit on both an absolute and per judgeship basis. Further, despite terminating more appeals per judgeship than any other circuit, the court was able to maintain the speedy administration of justice, ranking fifth among the twelve circuits in median case turnover. This productivity, notable in and of itself in light of the judicial vacancies, is more impressive considering the breadth and importance of the issues considered.
As one might imagine, the court considered an array of substantive and procedural issues in 2014. While the court did not issue any blockbuster opinion matching the likes of Bush v. Gore or that striking down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional, it did consider a range of issues of first impression, including the scope of medical malpractice liability on the high seas and the constitutionality of enforcing “no loitering” signs posted by private individuals. Moreover, the addition of the three female judges has ushered in a new era of diversity on the court, which is likely to impact how the court approaches the issues presented to it, particularly social issues.

HT Glenn Sugameli

Questions of the day

1. Will the Supreme Court dump the death penalty?  (Scalia wouldn't be surprised).

2.  Should judges be allowed to force defendants to give blood or go to jail?  (Judge Marvin Wiggins so ordered).

3.  Will the feds investigate the Corey Jones shooting?  (The national media is here to examine what happened).

4.  Is duct tape the best thing to use to smuggle in cocaine?  (Well, this guy got caught).  Photo from the Sun-Sentinel:

Ryan Gibson

Monday, October 19, 2015


Really funny, especially Larry David as Bernie.

If you want some local news, check out Paula McMahon's article about this courtroom deputy who got 8 years for child pornography.  Or about this guy who didn't have the best flight.

If you are interested in the cell-site data case we are working on, Forbes covers it here.  We are filing our reply in support of cert tomorrow.

Friday, October 16, 2015

"The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta alleges that the Florida Priory of the Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, the Ecumenical Order is infringing its registered service marks in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114, and Florida law."

Oh they're at it again... This is the latest in the running dispute between these parties. Judge William Pryor reverses again: "On remand, the district court misapplied several factors in its analysis of likely confusion, incorrectly assessed the Florida Priory’s defense of prior use, relied on historical testimony that we previously deemed inadmissible, and misinterpreted our instructions about consulting facts outside the record. Because the district court erred again, we reverse again. But we deny the Sovereign Order’s request to reassign the case to a different district judge."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

This makes me happy.

Harvard debate team loses to NY inmates, via the AP:

Months after winning a national title, Harvard's debate team has fallen to a group of New York inmates.

The showdown took place at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison where convicts can take courses taught by faculty from nearby Bard College, and where inmates have formed a popular debate club. Last month, they invited the Ivy League undergraduates and this year's national debate champions over for a friendly competition.

The Harvard debate team also was crowned world champions in 2014. But the inmates are building a reputation of their own. In the two years since they started a debate club, the prisoners have beaten teams from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the University of Vermont. The competition with West Point, which is now an annual affair, has grown into a rivalry.

At Bard, those who help teach the inmates aren't particularly surprised by their success.

"Students in the prison are held to the exact same standards, levels of rigor and expectation as students on Bard's main campus," said Max Kenner, executive director of the Bard Prison Initiative, which operates in six New York prisons. "Those students are serious. They are not condescended to by their faculty."

Students on the Harvard team weren't immediately available for comment, but shortly after the loss, they posted a comment on a team Facebook page.

"There are few teams we are prouder of having lost a debate to than the phenomenally intelligent and articulate team we faced this weekend," they wrote. "And we are incredibly thankful to Bard and the Eastern New York Correctional Facility for the work they do and for organizing this event."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

SCOTUS debates Florida death penalty post Ring

I'm sure it was more interesting than the snoozer of a debate last night in which the Supreme Court didn't come up.

The DP case before the Supreme Court was Hurst v. Florida. SCOTUSBlog has coverage of the interesting oral argument:

The case is about a brutal murder in a fast-food restaurant in Pensacola, but it reaches the Court as a clear-cut test of what the Justices had in mind in the 2002 decision in Ring v. Arizona. That ruling seemingly enhanced the role of the jury in capital punishment cases, assigning them the crucial task of deciding the facts that make a person accused of murder eligible to be put to death.

The Florida Supreme Court has taken the position that the Ring decision does not even apply to its death penalty system — a position that its lawyer — state Solicitor General Allen Winsor — did not repeat on Tuesday, even as he argued that the system fully satisfies that ruling. It would be Winsor who would, before the hearing ended, face the hardest questions about moral responsibility.

Hurst’s lawyer, Washington, D.C., attorney Seth P. Waxman (a former U.S. Solicitor General), left no doubt from the outset that he was aiming to put Winsor on the defensive on the jury question. “Under Florida law,” he began, “Timothy Lee Hurst will go to his death despite the fact that a judge, not a jury, made the factual finding that rendered him eligible for death.”

Under Florida law, no one can be put to death unless there is a finding of one “aggravating factor” — usually, some fact about the crime or the way it was committed that would justify the ultimate penalty. The jury, Waxman noted, only offers an advisory opinion to the judge about such factors, and then suggests either life or death.

Waxman quoted from Florida law, noting that the judge makes the crucial finding of aggravating factors “independently, and, quote, ‘notwithstanding the jury’s recommendation as to sentence.'” For most of his argument, he never strayed far from that point or from his secondary point that Florida is the only state to do it in that way. The Justices, as usual, tried a few hypotheticals to test the way the Florida arrangement actually works, but the sidelining of the jury was almost always a part of Waxman’s answers.

From the moment that Florida’s Winsor took the lectern, arguing at first that his state’s system was constitutional before and after Ring v. Arizona, he was almost constantly bombarded with probing questions about what juries actually did under that system. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was perhaps the most aggressive questioner.

Winsor sought to show that the task given to Florida juries was a serious one, but the questions from the bench continued to suggest that, no matter what the jury did or recommended, it could be overridden by the final choices that are assigned to the judge. At some points, it appeared that the state’s lawyer was making at least some concessions that part of the system would not satisfy the Ring precedent.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Some light reading for those working on Columbus day

1. Diveroli v. U.S. starts this way (per Judge W. Pryor):

Efraim Diveroli’s story is so outlandish that it has inspired an article in Rolling Stone, a book, and a forthcoming comedy film. See Guy Lawson, How Two Stoner Kids from Miami Beach Became Big-Time Arms Dealers—Until the Pentagon Turned on Them, Rolling Stone, Mar. 31, 2011, at 52; Guy Lawson, Arms and the Dudes: How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History (2015); Borys Kit, Jonah Hill to Star in Crime Comedy ‘Arms and the Dudes,’ The Hollywood Reporter (Dec. 3, 2014, 4:56 PM), By age 21, Diveroli started his own company, became an international arms dealer, and won a $298 million contract with the United States Army to provide ammunition to Afghanistan. But his meteoric rise would not last. The contract prohibited Diveroli’s company, AEY, from acquiring ammunition from Chinese manufacturers. When Diveroli learned that his primary supplier obtained its ammunition from China, he and his cohorts concealed the origin of the ammunition and falsely attested that it was from Albania. A grand jury indicted Diveroli, AEY, and his coconspirators on 85 counts of major fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit fraud. After Diveroli’s attorney advised his client about the charges and estimated that he faced a sentence of 168 to 210 months if convicted, Diveroli pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for which the district court sentenced him to 48 months of imprisonment.
Diveroli moved to vacate his sentence, 28 U.S.C. § 2255, on the ground that his attorney miscalculated his potential sentencing exposure, which Diveroli argues was only 70 to 87 months. Diveroli argues that he would have proceeded to trial but for his counsel’s error. The district court denied his motion without an evidentiary hearing. Because the record establishes that Diveroli faced overwhelming evidence of guilt and had no viable defenses, we affirm.

2. If you are interested in the "rarely charged" crime of misprision of a felony, there is a lot to be said about it here (with a lengthy concurrence by Judge Martin). The background:
The misprision charge brought against Brantley stems from tragic events that occurred on June 29, 2010. Brantley was pulled over in a routine traffic stop. Brantley’s boyfriend, convicted felon Dontae Morris, was a passenger in her car. Upon questioning by the police, he emerged from the car and shot and killed two officers. He then fled on foot as Brantley sped away. Within minutes, Brantley spoke with Morris on a cell phone, and thereafter hid the car and exchanged texts with Morris. The traffic stop itself -- including the shootings -- was recorded by the dashboard video camera in a police car. The video was played for the jury.
At trial, the jury ultimately found that Brantley knew about a federal felony (her convicted-felon boyfriend’s possession of the firearm which he used to shoot the officers), did not report that crime to the authorities, and, in the aftermath of the murders, took affirmative steps to conceal Morris’s felony from the authorities.

3. Or if you are really desperate, you can check out my op-ed in the Jamaican Gleaner about the juror misconduct in Buju Banton's case. The conclusion:
US District Judge James S. Moody, rightfully outraged that a juror would disregard his instructions, found Wright guilty of criminal contempt and even ordered her to write a report about the cost of Buju's expensive six-day trial.

Although Wright will never get to fulfil her dream of being a professional juror, she will get to move on with her life. She won't have to do one day in jail. Buju, on the other hand, isn't set to be released from federal prison until 2019. Our system failed him.

Friday, October 09, 2015

The Times, They Are A Changin

That's the Bob Dylan song that Justice Scalia sang to Justice Ginsburg after the same-sex marriage case was decided. I'm not kidding.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Former AUSA, current Broward state judge resigns

The Sun-Sentinel has all of the details:

Broward Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal, who was facing a disciplinary hearing over her conduct following her arrest on a DUI charge last year, has resigned effective Oct. 31.

Her decision was confirmed on the same day the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) announced a schedule of hearings in her misconduct case, which are now likely to be canceled.

"She called me and told me she's chosen to resign, effective the end of this month," said Broward Chief Administrative Judge Peter Weinstein. "This gives us enough time to decide who will replace her in her division."

Rosenthal has mostly handled foreclosures since her arrest on May 27, 2014. On that morning, Rosenthal arrived outside the courthouse showing signs of being impaired. She sideswiped a parked patrol car and repeatedly drove into the gate of the judicial parking lot between the courthouse and the Broward Main Jail.

According to police reports, she told investigators that she had taken an accidental overdose of the prescription sleep aid Ambien the night before. A breath test showed she was not under the influence of alcohol, but Rosenthal refused to submit to a blood or urine test that would have indicated whether she was affected by any other drug.

Prosecutors said there was a bottle of Xanax in her car.

During a JQC investigation that followed, Rosenthal admitted that she had recorded a video using her cellphone as she was driving to work. The video, police said, showed her driving erratically on Interstate 595. Rosenthal's husband deleted the video after police had seen it.

The JAABlog broke the story.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Narcos are still cooking

And shipping... here, in coffee (via New Times):
Officers were screening the package when they decided to send it through an x-ray. Something seemed funny, and officers found odd clumps in the coffee grounds. Further testing revealed those clumps were in fact cocaine — 4.1 pounds of it.

The shipment was being sent from Peru to an address in New Jersey.

“We’re extremely proud of our CBP officers and their ability to detect and seize narcotics,” Miami International Airport port director Christopher Maston said in a statement. "They remain dedicated to protecting the American people from dangerous drugs.”

Smugglers often try all sorts of crazy ways to sneak cocaine through customs at the airport. In August, CBP reported it had found 80 pounds of cocaine and heroin hidden in shipments of flowers traveling from Colombia and Ecuador since January 2014. CBP claims it seizes more than 10,000 pounds of drugs daily throughout its operations in the U.S.

Are you guys watching Narcos on Netflix? It's really good.

By the way, if you haven't seen Marc Caputo's daily "Florida Playbook" on Politico, you should check it out. It's fantastic.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

SCOTUS changes rules on "line-standers" and tries to improve "link-rot"

Here's the statement by the Court. SCOTUSBlog has more:

The Supreme Court, changing some of its procedures with Monday’s opening of a new Term, announced that lawyers who plan to attend oral argument sessions can no longer hire “line standers” to hold their places. This is now a do-it-yourself opportunity, the Court said in a statement outlining several changes.

Long lines usually form outside the Court building only when a high-profile case is scheduled, with heavy demand for the limited seating in the courtroom. The new policy apparently does not affect public lines. The Court did not explain the new policy for attorneys.

Other changes announced on Monday included making revisions to a published opinion of the Court more visible and a new effort to keep Internet links that appear within Court opinions from disappearing — what the Court indelicately calls “link rot.”

Monday, October 05, 2015

First Monday in October

The Justices are back to work. I wonder if they had Sunday night blues...

Anyway, here's the first order of the Term. Nothing really interesting except that the Court denied cert in an important insider trading case (More on that here).

The USA Today has a good article previewing the Term:

The Supreme Court embarks on a new term Monday that would make Yogi Berra proud: It truly is déjà vu all over again.

The justices will rule on affirmative action for the third time in four years. They will rule on public employee union fees for the third time in five years. They will deliver verdicts on class-action lawsuits and death penalty appeals, as they do virtually every year.

Before the term is out next June, they likely will consider the Affordable Care Act's so-called "contraceptive mandate" for the second time in three years and update what they meant a generation ago in ruling that states could not place an "undue burden" on women seeking abortions.

"It's kind of a term of sequels," says John Elwood, an appellate lawyer who argues frequently before the court. "There are many cases or questions presented from past terms ... that weren't decided the first time, and they're back now to be answered, hopefully, this upcoming term."

Other issues that could reach the court this term or next include President Obama's effort to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, challenges to voter-identification laws and other restrictions, and efforts by merchants such as bakers and florists to turn down same-sex weddings.

So far, the cases granted for oral argument this fall point the court led by Chief Justice John Roberts back in a conservative direction after a year heralded by liberals — for the landmark gay marriage and Obamacare rulings as well as others on housing and employment discrimination, judicial fundraising, and the way legislative and congressional districts are drawn.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Interesting interstate commerce case before the Supreme Court

Cert was granted in Taylor v. United States — Whether, in a case under the Hobbs Act, the government must prove that robbery of a drug dealer does actually affect interstate commerce.

From Courthouse News:

David Anthony Taylor was indicted on July 26, 2012, on multiple charges of affecting interstate commerce when he robbed a drug dealer, identified in court documents as Whitney Lynch, of marijuana, drug proceeds and a cellphone in August 2009.
At the time, the documents said, Taylor was a member of the "Southwest Goonz," a gang that specialized in robbing drug dealers, who in knew both kept drugs and drug proceeds in their homes, and, because of their activities, would be reluctant to report the robberies to the police.
Taylor's first trial resulted in a hung jury. But a second jury convicted him on July 25, 2013, and he was sentenced to 28 years in prison, three years supervised release and a $1,000 fine.
Taylor appealed, contending both that the government failed to introduce sufficient evidence to establish that his robberies affected interstate commerce, and that the district court erred by preventing him from showing that the particular drugs he tried to steal did not affect interstate commerce.
But the Fourth Circuit held that because drug dealing in the aggregate necessarily affects interstate commerce, the government was simply required to prove that Taylor deplete or attempted to deplete the assets of such an operation.
It also held that "sufficient evidence was adduced at trial for a rational jury to find that Whorley was a drug dealer and that Taylor depleted or attempted to deplete his assets during the August 27 robbery."
"This is not to imply that the reach of the Hobbs Act is without limits," the Fourth Circuit said. "All robberies are disruptive, but not every disruption is an obstruction of commerce."
The court noted that the Sixth Circuit has held that the jurisdictional element of the Hobbs Act was not satisfied when the defendant stood convicted of robbing "private citizens in a private residence" of money, some of which just happened to "belong to a restaurant doing business in interstate commerce."

Thursday, October 01, 2015

13 new cert grants

The Order is here. More to follow on the cases shortly.

Meantime, there is some sentencing reform bouncing around Congress. Let's see what happens. This will be a minor, but important and good, step forward. We still need the judges to step up... From the NY Times:

A long-awaited bipartisan proposal to cut mandatory prison sentences for nonviolent offenders and promote more early release from federal prisons is scheduled to be disclosed Thursday by an influential group of senators who hope to build on backing from conservatives, progressives and the White House.

The comprehensive plan, which has the crucial support of Senator Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who heads the Judiciary Committee, is the product of intense and difficult negotiations between Republicans and Democrats who hope to reduce the financial and societal costs of mass incarceration that have hit minority communities particularly hard.

The push has benefited from an unusual convergence of interests in an otherwise polarized Washington and has become a singular issue that usually warring groups have rallied around. Progressive advocacy groups have embraced the possibility of less jail time and better preparation for offenders when they are released; conservatives have championed the potential savings in reducing prison populations and spending on the strained criminal justice system.

According to those familiar with the still-secret agreement, the legislation proposes an extensive set of changes in federal sentencing requirements. Those changes include a reduction in mandatory minimum sentencing to five years from 10 for qualified cases; a reduction in automatic additional penalties for those with prior drug felonies; and more discretion for judges in assessing criminal history.

The legislation would also ban solitary confinement for juveniles in nearly all cases, and allow those sentenced as juveniles to seek a reduction in sentencing after 20 years. Many of the new rules could be applied retroactively to people now serving time.

Not sure the new laws will help the creative drug dealers here:

Investigators seized a sweet stash that looked like it was ready to be stuffed into a piñata earlier this summer, but drug testing proved it was more than nine pounds of methamphetamine, disguised to look like candy.

On Wednesday, Jorge Maldonado, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute the drug in Broward County. The charge carries a maximum punishment of life in federal prison.

Maldonado, of Okeechobee, was arrested July 7 in Lauderhill and admitted he was being paid $2,000 to deliver the methamphetamine to South Florida. Pieces of the drug were individually packaged in brightly-colored candy wrappers labeled with Spanish words.

Investigators have issued warnings in recent months about street drugs that have been disguised as hard candy. They say it is particularly dangerous because children and adults could unwittingly consume the drug.

A Bradenton man, Jesus Castellano, 53, who was arrested on related charges, is scheduled to plead guilty next week in federal court in Tampa. Authorities seized about another 19 pounds of the "meth candy" from his home in July.