Articles Posted in Drug Crimes in Jacksonville

A Clay County fire/rescue officer has been arrested in Clay County on allegations he sold heroin.  According to a report in the Florida Times Union, the officer sold the drug to an undercover detective at a meeting site in Clay County.  The officer allegedly sold the detective the heroin for $40.00.  The incident was videotaped by a hidden recording device, according to police.  Even though the sale took place, the officer was not arrested until an arrest warrant was signed and issued.

Clay County arrest warrants are not uncommon in drug deals, buying or selling.  The police will make contact with a supposed drug seller and form a “relationship”.  The police will make one buy and go on about their way. They then proceed to rack up more sales over the next week or so and then ultimately make all of the drug sale arrests at the same time.  Police use this tactic to increase the penalties one is facing to increase the chance of a plea to the charges.  It seems irresponsible to leave a drug seller on the streets for weeks if the police really wanted to protect the community. Even so, this tactic is not only used by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, but is also used by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The officer in this case is facing a second degree drug sale felony.  The sale of heroin is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.  In many cases, police receive a tip from a confidential informant, likely working off a case of their own, that someone is selling a drug.  The informant is usually the middleman between police and the suspect.  The informant can conduct the “buy” on their own or simply make an introduction.  Often times, the informant or drug detective is wearing an audio or video recording device.

Selling all controlled substances is illegal, but there are levels.  If you are convicted of selling marijuana in Clay County, it is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.  Selling heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine is a second degree felony in Florida.  If you are accused of selling any drug, it is important to speak to a Clay County Criminal Attorney about your rights, your defense, and your options.  Our Clay Criminal Lawyer has represented thousands of clients on drug charges.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Clay County Drug Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Once facing multiple felonies and decades behind bars in a St. Johns County Drug Case, a couple accused of growing massive amounts of marijuana in their home agreed to a deal that puts them on probation but keeps them out of prison.  Police initially charged the couple with trafficking in marijuana and several other felonies, saying the couple produced more than 40 pounds of marijuana in their rented home, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The couple was also charged with serious felonies including manufacturing marijuana and possession of a place or structure for trafficking or manufacturing a controlled substance, the newspaper reported. Instead, both of the people involved pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Possession of marijuana with the intent to sell is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison, while the drug paraphernalia charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail. Still, the defendants in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case were sentenced only to three years of probation.

As the case turned out, it appears that detectives and the state may have significantly overplayed their hand. Trafficking in marijuana is a first-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison that also has a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in state prison. The state dropped that charge, as well as the possessing a place for manufacturing or trafficking a controlled (a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison) and the manufacturing marijuana charge (a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison). So that’s a potential 60 years in state prison on charges the state just dropped. That is rare to find in St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases. The couple initially told police they were growing the drug for medicinal use and did nothing wrong

Now while pleading guilty is technically an admission of guilt, it can also be a procedural move to get the case resolved and receive a sentence that is manageable, rather than push the case to trial and risk a stiffer punishment – particularly when there is a minimum mandatory sentence involved.  Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney represents people arrested on all types of drug charges, from misdemeanor marijuana possession on up to felony trafficking charges that have a minimum mandatory sentence. Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney will investigate the case against you and provide information so you or your loved one can make the best decision moving forward.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police arrived on the scene of what they thought was a theft investigation, but came upon what they now say was a mobile methamphetamines lab.  Officers were called because of a man stealing items from a Wal-Mart, but say they discovered more than $1,700 worth of stolen items used to manufacture meth, according to a report on News4Jax. Various chemicals are combined to manufacture meth, and it is becoming increasingly common for mobile meth labs to be discovered in cars, apartments and hotel rooms. Now, the man is facing multiple felony charges, including trafficking in methamphetamines, manufacturing methamphetamines and possession of methamphetamines. Trafficking in methamphetamine is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in state prison. Manufacturing the drug and possession of meth are both second-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in state prison. Police also found cocaine on the man when he was arrested and charged him with larceny for the items he allegedly stole from the store. Both of those charges are third-degree felonies and each have a maximum prison exposure of five years in state prison.

So if the defendant in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case was convicted of all counts and sentenced to the maximum, he’d be looking at 70 years in state prison.  While that is highly unlikely, he is facing very serious charges. In St. Johns County Drug Crime Cases, the charges are based on two primary factors: the type and amount of the drug the person is accused of possessing. For example, one of the charges in this case is trafficking in methamphetamines. While this charge sounds like the man is accused of selling large quantities of the drug, it has nothing to do with selling drugs. Trafficking charges are based solely on the amount of the drug the person is accused of possessing. In St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases involving meth, the trafficking amount begins at 14 grams. As a comparison, drug charges involving marijuana are still misdemeanors at that amount. Trafficking charges also have minimum mandatory sentences that apply based on the amount of the drug the person is accused of possessing.

Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes attorney represents people facing all types of drug charges, from misdemeanor marijuana possession on up to trafficking in or manufacturing methamphetamines. Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate your case and provide you or your loved one with the information you need to make a decision on how to proceed.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A nearly yearlong investigation into painkillers being distributed among state prison employees has led to the arrest of 50 people on varying degrees of drug charges.  Nine of the people charged work for the Florida Department of Corrections and all nine have been fired, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The investigation found the ring centered around purchasing large amounts of Oxycodone, a popular pain medication that people also take recreationally, from people with legal prescriptions, the newspaper reported. The first arrests in the case came in June, when undercover officers bought 43 pills from a man who worked at Florida State Prison and is accused of being the main person distributing the pills to fellow corrections officers and other prison employees, the newspaper reported. As police continued to investigate, they found that the man was getting the pills from four large suppliers across the state, including one man in Jacksonville, the newspaper reported.

Several people, including the main distributor at the prison and the supplier in Jacksonville, are charged with trafficking in oxycodone. The charge is a first-degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in state prison. In Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases, the charge and potential punishment are primarily determined by two main factors: the type of drug the person is accused of having and the amount of said drug. For example, in this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case, even though the sale of drugs is the root of the investigation, the trafficking charge is based solely on the amount of the drug the defendants are accused of possessing. There are several other charges in this case, including conspiracy to purchase or distribute a controlled substance, but the trafficking charges are the most serious.

In Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases involving Oxycodone, trafficking charges start at 7 grams – which can be just a couple dozen pills. As a comparison, possession of marijuana is still a misdemeanor until a person is accused of having more than 20 grams. But with Oxycodone, not only does trafficking begin at 7 grams, but minimum mandatory sentences kick in. If a person is charged with having between 7 and 14 grams, there is a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in state prison. For between 7 and 25 grams, there is a minimum mandatory sentence of seven years, and that bumps up to 15 years if the person is accused of having between 25 and 100 grams.  In far-reaching cases such as this with multiple defendants, prosecutors often make deals with some of the lower level defendants in exchange for more information about the people they are really targeting. Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney represents people accused of all types of drug crimes and can help you or your loved one navigate the criminal justice system and make the best decision on how to proceed.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A driver running through a red light triggered a traffic stop that now has him facing several decades behind bars on felony drug charges.  Once police stopped the car, the officer said the driver struggled to get his license and the driver was sweating profusely, according to a report on First Coast News. Police ended up finding large quantities of a variety of drugs in the car, including marijuana, cocaine, LSD and illegal mushrooms, the television station reported.

The man is now charged with trafficking in LSD, possession of cocaine with intent to sell within 1,000 feet or a school or church, possession of a hallucinogen within 1,000 feet of a school or church, possession of marijuana with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a school or church, possession of marijuana for the manufacture or delivery of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jacksonville Drug Crimes Charges are based on two main factors: the type of drug the person is accused of having in his or her possession and the quantity of the drug.  The LSD and the cocaine charges are both first-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison. The marijuana and the hallucinogen charge, for the illegal mushrooms, are both second-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison. The possession charge involving the manufacturing or delivering drugs is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison, while the other paraphernalia charge is a misdemeanor. If he was to be convicted of all of the charges and sentenced to the maximum on each charge, he could be looking at 95 years in state prison. That’s unlikely, but it speaks to the seriousness of the charges and how quickly the charges and prison time can add up in Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases.

Initially, the driver denied police permission to search the vehicle, but the officer called in a drug-sniffing dog, which detected drugs in the car. If a drug dog hits on the vehicle, the police then legally have the reasonable suspicion required to search the car in Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases and the driver does not need to provide specific permission to conduct the search. However, the search must be done as part of traffic stop, meaning the police cannot hold the driver for a long time waiting on the dog.  There are specific policies and procedures police must follow in traffic stops and to define the actual possession of drugs. In this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case, the drugs were found in a backpack, which the driver said was given to him by a stripper, the television station reported. Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney will thoroughly investigate the case against you or your loved one to determine if all of those rules were followed to the letter of the law.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Duval County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A woman who worked for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was arrested last week after police set up an undercover drug sting to allegedly catch her buying narcotics.  Through text messages with a confidential informant, the woman agreed to buy two OxyContin pills, but only ended up buying one $35 pill, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police were waiting nearby and pulled the driver over before she could make it to the end of the block, the newspaper reported. The woman told police she dropped the pill as she was being pulled over and police did not find it in her vehicle, the newspaper reported. The woman was arrested as a result of the traffic stop and resigned from her position with the sheriff’s office, the newspaper reported.

She was charged with purchase of a controlled substance. Because the pill was OxyContin, a variety of the prescription pain killer Oxycodone, the charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. Yes, in some Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases, one simple pill is a second-degree felony. There are two major factors that determine the charge and potential punishment in Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases: the type of drug the defendant is accused of having and the amount that is allegedly in his or her possession. Penalties vary based on the type of drug and some prescription pain pills, such as OxyContin in this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case, carry serious potential penalties for just one pill. Methamphetamines, cocaine and other prescription drugs have charges that are automatic felonies – but in many cases they are third-degree felonies with a maximum sentence of five years in state prison. Marijuana, however, is a completely different story. Possession of marijuana up to 20 grams is still considered a misdemeanor, meaning the only time behind bars that would be on the table would be up to one year in the county jail.

Actual possession could be an issue in this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case involving OxyContin because police did not find a pill in her possession. Her statement that she did have the pill but dropped it, along with the series of text messages that set up the transaction may be enough to prove the intent and the possession, but there can also be issues with text messages and other communications during these types of undercover operations.  Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney represents people on a variety of drug charges – people accused of possessing, buying or selling all types of drugs. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate the case against you or your loved one and provide you with information to make the best decision going forward.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Duval County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A veteran Jacksonville police officer was arrested and charged this month, accused of giving her son inside information in a potential felony drug case against him.  The charge stems from an ongoing investigation into what police say is a massive Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case that involves large quantities of cocaine being brought to Jacksonville from Texas, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police arrested an officer and charged her with attempting to help her son elude police, the newspaper reported. Her son is accused of being in the drug operation at the direction of his father and the officer’s ex-husband, the newspaper reported. Police said the defendant is accused of alerting her son that police were onto him, telling him not to drive one of his cars that police knew about and talking with his girlfriend about helping him escape, the newspaper reported. She was placed on administrative leave from her position in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and charged with aiding escape. The charge is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison.

By all indications, the father is who police believe is the one leading the organization. In many Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases, police go after some of the more minor players and attempt to squeeze information out of them that leads to prosecutors being able to prove the case against the biggest fish beyond a reasonable doubt. In most cases, that information comes with an offer for a lighter sentence or a reduction in charges. There’s an interesting dynamic in this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case, and it might be difficult for a person to give police information about his father. But, for an ex-wife to talk to police to potentially save her son – that scenario seems a little more likely.  As for the officer who was arrested, employers operate under different rules than the criminal justice system. That is especially true in law enforcement. Internal policies usually dictate that persons who are convicted of or plead guilty to a felony cannot serve in law enforcement. But even if this case doesn’t go that far, it’s possible her days of a police officer are over. While police are held to different standards, it’s one thing if an officer gets in trouble away from the job – such as a DUI in a personal car. This however, involved the use of police information to assist someone who was under investigation, which is a serious no-no in law enforcement circles.
Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney represents people charged with all levels of drug crimes – from misdemeanor marijuana possession charges on up to felony charges of trafficking in cocaine.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

One man has been arrested, but there could be more on the way as Jacksonville police investigate what could be a massive cocaine ring.  Police arrested a 20-year-old Jacksonville man on a charge of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Records indicate that his father, uncle and another man are listed as co-conspirators in the case, meaning they are at least three of the other people involved in the alleged conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, the newspaper reported. No other arrests have been made in the case, but records indicate police suspect the men are involved in bringing large quantities of cocaine from Texas to Jacksonville, and then distributing it here, the newspaper reported. When police arrested the son, he had a small amount of marijuana on him and two bags of oxycodone pills, the newspaper reported. For that, he was also charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and trafficking of opium or a derivative. The marijuana charge is a misdemeanor, while the trafficking charge is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in state prison.

Although this Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case does appear to involve the sale of drugs, trafficking charges in Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases are based solely on the amount of the drug the person is accused of having. And how much of the drug makes it a trafficking charge varies dramatically by the type of drug. For example, the marijuana charge is a misdemeanor because the man is accused of having less than 20 grams of the drug. But for oxycodone, trafficking charges can begin at just four grams of the drug – just a handful of pills. If the person has between four and 14 grams, there is a minimum mandatory prison sentence of three years. If the amount is between 14 and 28 grams, there is a 15-year minimum mandatory sentence. More than 28 grams and it is 25 years. To compare, possession of marijuana does not become a trafficking charge until the person is caught with 25 POUNDS of the drug – or 300 plants. And in terms of the Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case police are now investigating, cocaine is treated much closer to opium than it is marijuana, so the man and the others suspected in the ring are likely looking at the possibility of decades behind bars if arrests are eventually made and charges are ultimately filed.  Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney represents people on all types of drug crimes – from misdemeanor marijuana possession on up to felony trafficking cases.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police in St. Johns County were called in this month to seize and break down a methamphetamines lab in a St. Johns County hotel.  There was no information published in local media reports on any arrests involving the bust, according to the report on News4Jax. St. Johns County Drug Crimes involving methamphetamines can have serious ramifications, and will almost certainly be felony charges. The severity of charges, which dictates the likely punishment in St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases, is based primarily on two things: the type of drugs the person is accused of having and the amount of the drug police can prove the person had in his or her possession.

St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases involving meth are typically felonies. The charges for manufacturing methamphetamines are typically second-degree felonies punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. Those charges are upgraded to a first-degree felony with a 30-year maximum penalty if the drugs are produced in the presence of minors. The charged are enhanced because the fumes emitted during the process of cooking the meth are toxic and can be extremely dangerous, especially to children. Typically when meth labs are discovered in hotels or apartment complexes, immediate neighbors are evacuated so the rooms can be decontaminated. Even possessing the chemicals used to make meth can be charged as a second-degree felony, though it certainly improves the state’s case if the drugs are found in the vicinity of where the chemicals are found.

When it comes to the amount in St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases, a person can be charged with trafficking in meth if he or she has just 14 grams of the drug. For comparison, possession of marijuana is not even a felony until the person is accused of having more than 20 grams. Trafficking in meth is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in state prison, and minimum mandatory sentences also apply. Many people think that someone can only be charged with drug trafficking if the person is caught selling drugs. That is not the case. In St. Johns County Drug Cases, the amount of the drug is the only thing that can constitute a trafficking charge – even if the drugs are only for personal use.  Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney represents people accused of all types of drug crimes. From misdemeanor marijuana possession on up to trafficking in cocaine, our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate the charges and lay out the options for you or your loved one so you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police dismantled a mobile methamphetamines lab that officers discovered during a traffic stop in St. Johns County.  Officers pulled the car over and found several people inside – along with the materials used to make methamphetamines, according to a report on Action News Jax. Police closed the gas station while they could dismantle the lab, the television station reported. Police did not announce any arrests in this St. Johns County Drug Crimes Case, but if the state can prove the case against any of the occupants, there will likely be serious felony charges filed.

In St. Johns County Drug Crimes cases, the severity of the charges – and thus the potential sentence in state prison or county jail – can vary dramatically based on the drug in question. With methamphetamines, for example, nearly any charge is going to be a felony. Methamphetamines can be manufactured with a mixture of various dangerous chemicals that are cooked to produce the drug, but emit toxic fumes in the process. Even possessing the chemicals used to make the drug can be a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in state prison. There could be difficulty in this St. Johns County Drug Case as to who was in actual possession of the chemicals because there were multiple people in the vehicle. In many cases, police may end up arresting and charging everyone in the car, then waiting for people to get nervous and start pointing fingers at one another.

Because of the distinct odor produced from making methamphetamines, it can be difficult to hide from passerby and from police. In many St. Johns County Drug Crimes Cases, meth labs are discovered in hotel rooms and apartment complexes, though it is now becoming more common for people to use cars. The fumes are viewed as being toxic to the point that penalties are increased if there are children around when the drug is being produced. The charge moves to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Just as important in St. Johns County Drug Crimes is that the charge for having children present includes a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison. Minimum mandatory sentences can be critical because they tie the judge’s hands if a person is convicted of the crime, meaning the judge could not give a lesser sentence. Also, every day of a minimum mandatory sentence must be served, unlike traditional sentences where people serves about 85 percent, provided they stay out of trouble behind bars.  Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney represents people accused of all types of drug crimes and will fully investigate the case against you or your loved one.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.