Former Nassau County sheriff’s Sgt. James Hickox.Former Nassau County sheriff’s Sgt. James Hickox.
Former Nassau County sheriff’s Sgt. James Hickox.

Former Nassau deputy pleads guilty to drug charges

Published on May 17, 2024 at 10:53 am

A former Nassau County deputy pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to distribute narcotics, defraud the U.S. and tax evasion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

James Hickox faces 50 years in federal prison, prosecutors say.

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Hickox was a task force officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration. He and a co-conspirator engaged in corrupt activity from 2017 to 2023, including theft of more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana seized as evidence during investigations, the U.S. attorney said in a news release.

They covered up the theft by submitting falsified paperwork showing the marijuana had been destroyed, prosecutors said. They also stole a kilogram of cocaine from evidence and gave it to a drug dealer to sell for them.

Former Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joshua Grady Earrey pleaded guilty in April to conspiring to distribute narcotics, possession of firearms and ammunition, and fraud,

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Prosecutors say Hickox provided illegal drugs, including fentanyl and cocaine, to others to distribute on his behalf. He hid the $420,000 he earned from his criminal activities from the IRS, they said.

When Hickox’s residence was searched March 10, 2023, agents found about 263 grams of a powder containing fentanyl, as well as cocaine. They also found a rifle that Hickox had illegally modified to function as a machinegun, as well as four additional firearms that had been seized during law enforcement investigations and should have been entered into evidence or been lawfully destroyed. 

Investigators found an additionaly 260 pills containing methamphetamine in Hickox’s workspace at the Sheriff’s Office.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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