The MBI Legal Section
The MBI Legal Section is comprised of a full-time legal staff consisting of one full time prosecuting attorney (an “Assistant State Attorney (ASA)”), and an advanced Legal Assistant, both assigned to the MBI by the State Attorney of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
The MBI Legal Section is responsible for providing legal tools to assist the MBI Agent investigators in gathering evidence to establish probable cause, and present in court for convictions. Such tools include Applications and Court Orders for: Search warrants for locations and cell phones, Arrest Warrants for persons, Vehicle Tracking Devices, Cell Phone Tracking authorization, Hidden Video Surveillance camera authorization Pen Register and Trap and Trace authorization to obtain telephone records in real time, and Telephone Wiretap authorizations to intercept communications.
The MBI Legal Section also uses the State Attorney’s power to issue state subpoenas to compel the production of records, and to require the appearance of witnesses for interviews and sworn statements.
The MBI Legal Section also files and prosecutes state civil contraband forfeiture actions and state civil Racketeering-RICO actions to obtain court orders for forfeiture of property assets used by criminals to commit crimes, or obtained from the proceeds of crimes such as narcotics transactions. The MBI legal staff defends against appeals from such forfeiture actions.
The MBI a Legal Section also defends against any civil suit proactively filed against the MBI by persons seeking injunctions or money damages related to MBI investigations or actions, both in State and Federal courts.
The MBI Legal Section also assist the local jurisdictions in the development of effective local ordinances to regulate vice, adult entertainment, and narcotic drug distribution – and assists in defending such ordinances against court attacks that such ordinances are not constitutional.
The MBI Legal Section assists, and coordinates with, other prosecutors handling the prosecution of cases resulting from MBI investigations. MBI cases are prosecuted by the State Attorney, the Office of Statewide Prosecution (when crimes occur across several circuits) and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida (when the crimes are federal offenses.)