Fort Lauderdale defense attorney accused of smuggling cocaine into Palm Beach County jail

David Casals arrested, released from jail on bond
David Casals, defense attorney accused of smuggling cocaine into Palm Beach County jail
Posted at 1:49 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 23:24:09-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Fort Lauderdale defense attorney is accused of smuggling cocaine into the main Palm Beach County jail.

David Casals was arrested Friday on felony charges of trafficking cocaine, delivery of cocaine and introduction of contraband into a county facility.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said Casals attempted to disguise legal documents "saturated in cocaine" into the jail.

Barbera said Casals turned himself in and was later released from jail after posting a $58,000 bond.

Doug Rudman is a former prosecutor and now a defense attorney. He said the way the jail system works when it comes to visitation, family members use video conferencing.

"But because of the attorney-client relationship, you are given the opportunity to be able to visit with your client face-to-face, strategize face-to-face, review face-to-face," he said. 

Rudman said that attorneys, upon entering the jail, must present their bar card and a valid driver's license. He said the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office verifies whether an attorney is in good standing with the Florida Bar. 

"No doubt the Palm Beach County jail is going to be looking at and revisiting its policies and procedures," he said.  

According to his profile on the Florida Bar, Casals has been practicing law since 2000 and has his own firm in Fort Lauderdale.

WPTV spoke with Casals' attorney, Michael Salnick, by telephone. Salnick said his client surrendered himself, bonded out and is pleading not guilty.