Nassau County Sheriff’s Office officials fired an officer and charged him with felony drug charges the same day. The investigation is ongoing, but police said they learned the man was selling prescription medication and they had what they needed to fire him, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man is charged with conspiracy to trafficking hydrocodone and with selling a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church or a school, the newspaper reported. Both are serious felony charges in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case. Trafficking in hydrocodone is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and has a minimum mandatory sentence of at least three years in state prison, depending on the amount the person is accused of having. The charge for selling a controlled substance is a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison.
And while the two charges in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case are obviously related, they are not as intertwined as one might presume. Drug trafficking charges are based on the amount of the drug a person has and have nothing to do with whether the person is physically selling drugs. Trafficking charges themselves – and least from the outset – can be much more common in cases involving hydrocodone and other pills because the threshold is so low. Trafficking charges involving hydrocodone start at just 14 grams. For example, Nassau County Drug Crimes Cases involving marijuana are misdemeanors until the amount is 20 grams and trafficking charges don’t kick in until the defendant has 250 POUNDS of marijuana. Depending on how much the person is accused of having, and the amount was not specified in this Nassau County Drug Crimes Case, there are minimum mandatory sentences. For example, if the person is charged with having between 14 and 28 grams, the minimum mandatory sentence is three years. If the amount is between 28 and 50 grams, the minimum sentence is seven years, and it increases to 15 years when the amount is between 50 and 200 grams.
So the actual sale of the drugs carries less of a punishment than the possession, because of the amount. But the sale is likely the biggest issue in firing the officer immediately. Right or wrong, police are held to different standards, and having an officer selling drugs is not going to go over well. The charges in this Nassau County Drug Case may change as the investigation moves on, but the arrest and public release of the facts seem to be a little earlier than normal because of the fact the suspect was an active police officer. Our Nassau County Drug Crimes Attorney has represented people accused of all levels of drug crimes, accused of having a variety of different substances and will fully investigate the case against you or your loved one so you can 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 Nassau County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.