A Miami man charged with importing flakka from China was found not guilty by a federal court jury on Thursday.
Jerry Lee Harris was accused of importing nine kilos of the notorious synthetic drug with plans to distribute it. The powerful stimulant has generated headlines in South Florida for the strange behavior it causes in users.
But a Miami federal jury acquitted Harris, who was represented by assistant federal public defenders Sowmya Bharathi and Bunmi Lomax.
At trial, prosecutors tried to prove that Harris imported three parcels containing alpha-PVP, or flakka, pointing out that he accepted them at his Miami home from a Homeland Security undercover agent in September after being informed the packages were from China. The parcels, which actually contained “sham” narcotics for the purpose of the delivery, were addressed to a person by the name of “Jerry Morgan.” Investigators said it was an alias.
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But the defense apparently raised doubt among jurors that Harris had ordered the packages of flakka over the Internet and arranged to have them delivered to his residence. Moreover, his attorneys said he had no idea what was inside them.
“We are so grateful that the jury paid close attention and saw Mr. Harris’s innocence,” Lomax told the Miami Herald. “Mr. Harris did not know what was inside those packages and the jury agreed.”