Preacher’s Spouse Mistaken for Drug Trafficker by Miami Worldwide Airport Police

A Sarasota businesswoman and evangelist’s spouse claims Miami-Dade police paraded her by Miami Worldwide Airport in handcuffs and subjected her to a strip search after mistaking her for a global drug trafficker.

In a lawsuit filed in county court docket, Raphaela Lucarelli, a longtime spa proprietor and spouse of Florida evangelical preacher Daniel Adams, says a secular misunderstanding over private medicine present in her baggage escalated right into a false arrest on drug trafficking fees by the hands of the Miami-Dade Police Division.

Lucarelli needs damages for false imprisonment and violations of her constitutional rights in reference to the Could 25 airport incident.

“Being held like that’s traumatic, particularly for someone who does not have expertise with the U.S. authorized system,” Lucarelli’s lawyer, Jeremy Friedman at Downs Legislation, tells New Instances. “It is not proper for somebody to be handled like that. The officers acted first and regarded to see in the event that they had been proper later.”

Lucarelli says the saga started when she returned to Florida on an early morning flight after visiting household in Brazil. Upon her arrival at Miami Worldwide Airport round 6:00 a.m., U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) discovered her routine of private medicine whereas inspecting her baggage. Although she defined that she had authorized prescriptions for the tablets, the brokers introduced her right into a backroom, the place she was “harassed by 5 to seven CBP officers,” Lucarelli says.

Miami-Dade Police Division detectives began trickling in, and the scenario deteriorated from there. Lucarelli, who has a Brazilian background, claims one detective “referred to as [her] a Mexican” and tried to strain her into confessing to his illusory narrative that she was trafficking medicine.

Regardless of Lucarelli explaining, again and again, that she may present the prescription paperwork and put police in touch along with her physician, the Miami-Dade detectives positioned her in handcuffs, the lawsuit alleges. They escorted her by Miami Worldwide Airport whereas she was in tears.

“All of Plaintiff’s possessions had been taken away and the cops started the in-take course of: fingerprints, orange prisoner jumpsuit, and putting plaintiff right into a cell,” the lawsuit reads, describing Lucarelli’s arrival at a Miami-Dade County jail. “[She] was required to strip bare in entrance of a feminine officer who then made [her] bend over, unfold herself, and cough 4 instances to make sure she was not carrying any undiscovered medicine.”

Lucarelli claims that whereas in custody, she was denied meals and medicine, with one officer telling her, “This isn’t a resort.” She says she didn’t obtain meals on the jail till 8 p.m. that night time, 14 hours after her arrival at Miami Worldwide Airport (MIA).

Her husband, Daniel Adams, a salesman and chief at Good Information Ministries, needed to drive from Sarasota to Miami to bail her out of jail. When he paid her bond and requested when she can be launched, one jail staffer allegedly advised him, “There are two speeds: sluggish and cease. And we’re not in a rush.”

The husband waited for hours till Lucarelli was launched round 1 a.m. on the morning of Could 26, “fatigued, hungry, depressed, oppressed, and anxious,” in keeping with the lawsuit.

Past the monetary damages incurred from having to rent a legal protection lawyer and bond out of jail, Lucarelli says she has suffered from nightmares and different psychiatric trauma from the incident. She says she’s missed work and that she begins “to shake involuntarily any time she is round MIA.”

As she anticipated, the costs towards Lucarelli had been promptly dropped in July.

When reached by New Instances, the Miami-Dade Police Division stated it doesn’t touch upon pending litigation.

Friedman, Lucarelli’s lawyer, says the incident resulted in his shopper being positioned on a Division of Homeland Safety listing, which topics her to questioning, searches, and elevated scrutiny when she flies internationally. Makes an attempt to have her faraway from the listing up to now have been fruitless although the case towards her was dropped, Friedman says.

“It is an actual drawback. Anytime she travels internationally, she’s getting questioned about whether or not she’s an alleged drug trafficker. It is as if one authorities company does not have the power to cross-reference state data to point out that this case was dismissed… that it was a mistake,” Friedman says.