DJ Fredy Benz, whose real name is Alfredo Benitez, was arrested on May 17 by Miami-Dade’s narcotics unit for allegedly selling cocaine from his house. Benitez, 39, is being charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell. He has since bonded out of jail. News sources did not list an attorney for him.
According to news sources, Benz allegedly sold cocaine out of his home, which is near Shenandoah Elementary. Investigators reportedly found 10 bags of cocaine on him at the time of his arrest.
Benitez’s arrest comes two days after he worked a gig at a police event. On Monday, he was hired to play music at an employee “health and wellness” event inside the Miami police headquarters lobby. He reportedly took pictures with many city officials, including the police department’s chief spokesman.
He posted several of the pictures on his Facebook profile, including one with Lt. Freddie Cruz, the city’s lead public information officer. The Miami Herald reports that no one involved at the event is believed to have known about his alleged drug dealing.
South Florida has had a long history with cocaine. Possession of cocaine is the most common type of cocaine crime prosecuted in Florida courts. It is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. First-time offenders can usually qualify for drug court, which is generally the best option because it can get the possession charge dismissed. Once the charge is dismissed, the defendant can try to seal or expunge their record.
Possession of cocaine with intent to sell is the second most common type of cocaine crime prosecuted in the Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami areas. Unlike a simple possession charge, possession with intent to sell is a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Penalties for possession with intent can vary depending on the circumstances. Proximity to a school or a playground can enhance the penalties. The defendant’s criminal record and jurisdiction in which he is prosecuted can also heavily influence the outcome of the case.
For example, prosecutors in Broward County are required to ask for a minimum of 18 months in prison on all possession with intent cases. But in Miami-Dade County, it is not uncommon for defendants charged with possession with intent to be sentenced to probation. The difference is the formal policy of the two counties.
Cocaine trafficking is the third most common type of cocaine crime. Unlike simple possession and possession with intent, the penalties for this charge are much more severe. It is a first-degree felony that is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and sometimes life depending on the circumstances.
Florida law is more sympathetic to people who are addicted to the drug than those who sell it for profit. The criminal justice system views cocaine dealers as predators who prey on drug addicts for money, and this image can affect every aspect of a possession of cocaine with intent case.