A Florida police officer, who was formerly employed by the West Palm Beach Police Department, was terminated last year on allegations that he disregarded police department policy. Now, he has been charged with selling prescription drugs while he was on duty as a police officer. The 45-year-old man is facing the drug trafficking charges in federal court.
The policeman, who was employed for 18 years by the West Palm Beach Police Department, lost his job in August 2013. He was fired following his failure to respond immediately to a call at a high school. However, the man’s employment record allegedly contains a number of infractions that required disciplinary action over the history of his career.
Federal prosecutors claim that the ex-officer was operating a drug trafficking business, illegally selling steroids and prescription drugs while on the job. For example, the criminal complaint accuses the man of delivering drugs while donning his police uniform in March 2013. It further alleges that he sold prescription drugs illegally to different individuals in April 2013. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the man could spend anywhere from five years to as much as a lifetime in prison for these crimes if he is convicted.
It is important to note that, in spite of the severity of the drug trafficking allegations against this Florida police officer, he will remain innocent in the eyes of the law until — and only if — he is found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Obtaining a guilty verdict is often more difficult for the prosecution to achieve than it might readily appear. Also, if the man is unable to obtain a not guilty verdict on all the charges he faces, he may be able to get certain charges dropped and/or reach a plea bargain deal that could dramatically reduce the severity of the final judgement in his case.
Source: Palm Beach Post, “Former West Palm Beach police officer accused of selling steroids, prescription drugs while on duty” Julius Whigham II, Apr. 12, 2014