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Fifty Years of JusticeA History of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida$
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James M. Denham

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060491

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060491.001.0001

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Drugs, Drugs, and More Drugs, 1980–1988

Drugs, Drugs, and More Drugs, 1980–1988

(p.160) 8 Drugs, Drugs, and More Drugs, 1980–1988
Fifty Years of Justice

James M. Denham

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on the nation’s War on Drugs and how this campaign affected the Middle District of Florida during the Reagan years. After a brief discussion of the advent of the Cali and Medellin cartels, the impact of illegal cocaine importation into the district is discussed. The chapter then turns Congress’s passage of numerous federal crime statues written combat the drug war. The proliferation of federal statutes to combat crime placed added strain on the judiciary to keep pace with the growing flood of criminal cases in their courts. Several high profile drug prosecutions in the Middle District are addressed, including drug king pin, Carlos Lehder Rivas. Other major prosecutions are chronicled: Ronnie Lee Tape, Jeffrey Matthews, Denny McLain, and others. The chapter discusses the expanded federal law enforcement presence in Fort Myers, in an effort to combat the drug trade, as well as the coordination of county, state, and federal agencies in prosecuting drug cases. Finally, the chapter concludes with extensive coverage of the prosecution of conspirators associated with the Bank of Credit & Commerce International (BCCI), the first successful prosecution of global money laundering in American history.

Keywords:   Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, Sentencing Reform Act (1984), War on Drugs, The Money Laundering Control Act (1986), Omnibus Drug Initiative Act of 1988, Carlos Lehder Rivas, Operation Peacemaker, Operation Everglades, Operation Triggerlock, Denny McLain

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