Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office employee arrested in undercover drug bust

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.