Local defense attorney Steven Burch will sit in an unfamiliar seat Monday, facing trial at federal court in Tampa. Burch was allegedly involved in a drug conspiracy with his former clients and co-defendants, Herbert and Qualonda Battle. Both have entered plea agreements and are likely to testify against Burch.
According to court documents, the investigation began when Burch attempted to receive leniency on a charge of driving under the influence. He was arrested on Aug. 9, 2015, by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and had a prior DUI in Pinellas County. In October, he met with a Sarasota County detective and an assistant state attorney to propose a deal — in exchange for reduced or dismissed charges, he would provide tracking numbers of packages containing controlled substances. The assistant state attorney and detective rejected Burch’s offer, according to court documents.
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