Florida DEA Officer Confess Being a Drug Trafficker; Community in Disbelief after Guilty Plea to Tax Evasion

James Darrell Hickox, a 38-year-old former Nassau County Deputy Sheriff and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force Officer, has pleaded guilty to several charges, such as conspiracy to sell drugs, tax evasion, and defrauding the United States.

For the drug distribution conspiracy, Hickox could spend up to 50 years in federal jail, and he will have to serve at least 5 years. Besides that, he decided to give up money, guns, and bullets that were used in his crimes.

In his plea deal, Hickox admits to taking part in a number of dishonest actions from 2017 to 2023. Along with a partner, Hickox stole money and drugs that were found during investigations. He also gave drugs like fentanyl and cocaine to other people so they could sell them, and he hid over $420,000 in illegal earnings from the IRS.

The thieves also took over 1,000 pounds of marijuana and a kilogram of cocaine from evidence, lying on papers to hide their actions.

On March 10, 2023, a federal search order was carried out at Hickox’s home and found 263 grams of cocaine, fentanyl-laced powder, and a rifle that had been illegally modified. More guns that should have been destroyed or turned into evidence were also discovered, including one whose serial number had been erased.

Along with Hickox’s illegal actions, investigators found more than $195,000 in cash and 260 methamphetamine pills in his workspace.

With help from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the case was looked into by the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case was brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Assistant U.S. Attorney William S. Hamilton. The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA were helpful during the probe, and the police are grateful for that.

In a March statement, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said that he was “disgusted” to hear about the accusations against Hickox.