[PHOTO CREDIT: SAO5.org]
[Original Publish Date: 01/14/21]
TAVARES, Florida — A man who was found with a cache of drugs in August following a search warrant at his home has been released from the Lake County Jail after all his charges were dropped Tuesday.
Manocher “Manny’ Francis Rafi, 49, was arrested Aug. 27, after Tavares Police searched his home at 909 Maplewood Street and found a safe that had 58 grams of methamphetamine, 28 grams of marijuana, 17 bags of cocaine and a box of ammunition, according to his arrest affidavit last year. Also, in the home, TPD found a loaded pistol, three scales, a pipe and an MDMA pill.
Rafi was facing seven charges from the time of his arrest, including armed trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of MDMA, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony and possession of drug paraphernalia and was being held on $146,000 bond.
In September, there was an “Announcement of No Information” on his possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charge because he was also charged with armed trafficking, which would be double jeopardy, according to the document. On Tuesday, the remaining six charges were dropped, according to a document filed by the State Attorney’s Office. In the “Nolle Prosequi” document filed by Assistant State Attorney Kristalle Smoller, the document states the charges were dropped due to “arrest/search/investigative issues.”
“There was a technicality with the search warrant,” TPD Lt. Sarah Coursey told LLN Wednesday.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]