Atlantic Beach FL Police Chief Arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance

Approximately one week ago, the Atlantic Beach police chief, Mike Classey, resigned due to a criminal investigation.  Classey was arrested yesterday in connection with this investigation.  He was taken to the Duval County jail on “18 counts of possession of a controlled substance, one count of trafficking in codeine, tampering with evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia.”   He was given a bond of $136,036.

This Florida drug investigation began due to a suspicion of drugs being sent through the mail.  Channel 4 News of Jacksonville reported:

Atlantic Beach Lawyer

Charges for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Trafficking in Atlantic Beach

“State Attorney Angela Corey and FLDE officials said agents began to investigate Classey after receiving a tip from the Department of Homeland Security, which intercepted a package containing controlled substances from India addressed to ‘Michael Cassey’ at a UPS store post office box. Agents say Classey went to the store to retrieve that package, along with another a second package. One contained Xanax and the other contained injectable steroids. During a search of Classey’s East Arlington home on Sept. 19 by FDLE and federal agents turned up what authorities described as large quantities of various steroids, Codeine, Xanax and syringes.”

While I do not know yet the laws that apply to Classey, I will provide an overview of some Florida drug laws that may be informative.  The law that applies to possession of a controlled substance in Florida is Section 893.13.  This drug law states:

(1)(a) Except as authorized by this chapter and chapter 499, a person may not sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance. A person who violates this provision with respect to:

1. A controlled substance named or described in s. 893.03(1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(d), (2)(a), (2)(b), or (2)(c)4. commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

2. A controlled substance named or described in s. 893.03(1)(c), (2)(c)1., (2)(c)2., (2)(c)3., (2)(c)5., (2)(c)6., (2)(c)7., (2)(c)8., (2)(c)9., (3), or (4) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

3. A controlled substance named or described in s. 893.03(5) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) Except as provided in this chapter, a person may not sell or deliver in excess of 10 grams of any substance named or described in s. 893.03(1)(a) or (1)(b), or any combination thereof, or any mixture containing any such substance. A person who violates this paragraph commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Florida Statute Section 893.135 applies to drug trafficking.  Florida’s drug trafficking laws often lead to a minimum mandatory sentence.  Most people believe that drug trafficking has something to do with “moving” the drugs.  For instance, they believe that you must be transporting the drugs in order to be arrested for drug trafficking.  This is not the case.  Drug trafficking is like basic possession of the substance, but you are in possession of a large quantity of drugs.  The act is the same.  You are possessing a controlled substance.  There is a threshold amount that triggers the Florida trafficking law.  This turns a basic possession case into a drug trafficking case.

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