A special task force of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office spent a year going undercover and trying to break apart illegal drug operations, resulting in 47 arrests in Clay County last week. Detectives started looking into a Middleburg neighborhood notorious for drug activity, but then spread through the entire county with help from local police departments inside Clay County and specialized state and federal agencies, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The police rolled out one man, Maurice Futch, as one of their primary targets. He’s now facing multiple counts of selling cocaine, with some of the aggravators the state uses to enhance the penalties – selling the drugs within 1,000 of a school and another charge for selling within 1,000 feet of a church.
Investigations such as this Clay County drug crime investigation often resemble a pyramid. Police nab some of the drug users and lower-level dealers first, trying to monitor from surveillance whom their suppliers are, and also using the arrest and threat of major prison time to get them to spill the beans. Most of the charges in the Clay County drug sweep involve cocaine and prescription drugs – which carry incredibly stiff penalties for people caught with them. A few Oxycontin or hydrocodone pills could result in up to five years in prison. Many of those caught in this sting will be more than willing to cooperate (if they haven’t already started) and the state will likely welcome the help.
First-time Clay County drug offenders on possession charges may be allowed to enter substance abuse counseling and other state-sponsored programs to avoid prison time, though those opportunities are becoming increasingly rare in Duval County, Clay County and Nassau County. Our Clay County Drug Crimes Attorney knows what options are available and can help try to negotiated acceptance into a program as part of a deal with the state. Some clients would rather just serve their time, knowing the rules in drug programs are strict and designed to make a person pay for blowing an opportunity to turn his or her life around.
You can be arrested for selling drugs even if you aren’t the one doing the selling. If you have a large quantity of drugs on you when you are stopped by police, you will likely face a sale charge. For trafficking, the penalties increase dramatically – and so do the thresholds for the amount of drugs one must have one them. For marijuana, it’s 25 pounds or 300 plants. For cocaine, it’s more than 28 grams. For pills, it’s just 4 grams – no more than a handful of pills. As prescription drugs become more common, expect more of sweeps similar to this Clay County drug investigation.
If you or a loved one needs a Criminal Drug Defense Attorney in Clay County or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Clay County Drug Crimes Lawyer, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.