Dave Roberts, who has been a volunteer with the sheriff’s office for 12 years, got a prescription of 90 oxycodone with Tylenol once a month for pain, Polk County Sheriff Judd said. But instead of taking them, the sheriff said Roberts sold them for $10 each.
After deputies received a tip, an undercover detective purchased the drugs from the volunteer.
Roberts agreed to meet the undercover deputy at a Lake Wales gas station and directed them to his patrol car for the transaction. Sheriff Judd says Roberts sat in the car, in uniform, as he counted the undercover deputy’s money and then handed over a baggie with the pills.
According to PCSO, the deputy followed Roberts back to the sheriff’s substation where he was arrested. Judd says Roberts permitted deputies to search his home where they found marijuana. Roberts told deputies that the marijuana belonged to his nephew and he was just holding it for him.
Detectives also found a rifle and a pistol in Roberts’ home, which Judd says wouldn’t normally be a problem, but it was an issue because deputies learned Roberts was a convicted felon who was not allowed to possess weapons.
Roberts said, “I can’t be a convicted felon, I’ve been voting all the way to Nixon.”
Sheriff Judd said Roberts slipped through the cracks. He added while volunteers don’t go through the same human resources detail and polygraph tests that full-time employees go through, he should have had a background check done.
“That makes me crazy, that makes me so crazy I want to pluck my eyeballs out one at a time,” Judd said.
If convicted, Roberts would face a minimum of 15 years in prison based on the current charges against him.
He was charged with possession of a vehicle used to traffic drugs, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, possession of cannabis over 20 grams, trafficking in oxycodone 25 grams or more and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
“We’re embarrassed,” Judd explains while also showing another emotion — anger. “I am livid. I am hotter than a bare butt on a tin roof in August.”