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Miami criminal lawyer cannot spare former wildlife officer from long prison sentence

Posted on September 08, 2009 3:00 AM EST

In federal court, a United States District Judge in Miami, Florida sentenced a former wildlife officer for his involvement in a Miami cocaine trafficking and heroin ring. The federal indictment alleges that he was involved in transporting the cocaine and heroin from Florida City to Key West. Jonathan Jacox, of Big Pine Key was sentenced to 90 months in prison for his criminal smuggling charges. Jacox's Miami criminal lawyer was present at the sentencing hearing in federal court.

On June 5, 2009, Jacox pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to sell cocaine and heroin and one count of possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony. The co-defendant in the case, former Monroe County deputy sheriff, Shawn Hernandez entered a guilty plea on August 20, 2009. Hernandez is scheduled to be sentenced on October 22, 2009. Jacox was poised to turn into a government witness against Hernandez. According to federal sources, Hernandez recruited Jacox to assist him in the cocaine and heroine trafficking operation from Miami to Key West.

Jacox blames no one but himself for the seven year prison term. Jacox told the federal judge, "I want everyone to know I am guilty of everything I am charged with, and that I am ready to pay the price for my incredibly stupid actions." Jacox, a former sailor in the United States Navy, joined to the fish and wildlife commission and graduated in 2006. His initial assignment was on Marathon Key. Jacox blamed his involvement in the cocaine and heroin conspiracy on economic hardship. Jacox's statement to the federal judge apparently carried some weight as he was initially facing a 15 year mandatory sentence.

Jacox, a new father, was also dealing with an illness in his fiancée's family that left him in financial straits. Things went from bad to worse when the downturn in the economy eliminated his off-duty jobs and overtime pay. Jacox said he was desperate as his financial situation was collapsing. While at the low point in his life, Hernandez approached him to assist in his cocaine and heroin trafficking endeavors. Undercover federal agents were aware of the cocaine and heroin trafficking conspiracy and were involved both in Miami and Key West, both ends of the route. Jacox was solicited to guard the supply as it was transported by Hernandez.

Wildlife Officer Convicted of Drug Smuggling Regrets Stupid Actions,The Miami Herald, September 8, 2009.
Categories: Drug Offenses