[UPDATE] Former FAMU Police Officer Sentenced in Drug Conspiracy

UPDATED 4.18.2011 by Julie Montanaro

A former FAMU police officer was sentenced today to three years probation for his role in a drug conspiracy.

Federal prosecutors say Byron Whitaker was one of more than a dozen people involved in the marijuana ring.

Federal prosecutors say he voluntarily surrendered his law enfocement credentials to FDLE as part of his plea agreement.

When Whitaker was arrested, he was a full time patrol officer at the FAMU Police Department and prosecutors say he actually negotiated a drug deal while in his patrol car.

Whitaker's attorney said he is now pursuing a new career.

"We are happy that the court saw this was outside his normal conduct and we're happy the court ordered probation and feel it was justified in this case," defense attorney Tim Jansen said.

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Tallahassee, FL - Byron Whitaker, 32, a former patrol officer with the Florida A&M University police department, entered a plea of guilty today to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and making false statements to a federal agent, announced United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh, Northern District of Florida.

During the course of the plea today, Whitaker acknowledged that, between January and May 2010, he purchased marijuana from a local drug supplier for distribution in Tallahassee. Whitaker was employed as a uniformed officer with the FAMU police department at the time, and actually negotiated a purchase while on duty in his patrol car. In an interview with Whitaker in August 2010, DEA agents identified Whitaker’s supplier by name and asked whether the supplier was involved in drug trafficking, Whitaker falsely stated he had not personally seen the supplier with drugs and had not received or purchased drugs from the supplier on any occasion.

Whitaker faces separate sentences of up to five years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and a maximum of five years’ imprisonment for making false statements to a federal agent.

“This case presents the disturbing scenario in which an officer sworn to uphold the law is actually found to be intentionally violating the law. When public officers violate the trust of our community, we will take every step to fairly and uniformly bring them to justice.” U.S. Attorney Marsh praised the work of the DEA, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Florida Department of Transportation, whose joint investigation led to the indictment in the case.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric K. Mountin.


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  • by RE: State Worker Location: Tallahassee on Apr 24, 2011 at 03:44 PM
    Before the comment below I stated to "State Worker" that it's truly wrong of you to take up for officer Whitaker when evidence clearly shows that the man intentionally sold coke and weed while on his job. On campus there was a string of robberies and it sickens me to know that instead of being there to help these student who were getting robbed, he was being "dope-boy" selling drugs as if it was okay for him to do so. "State Worker" you make me think that you are the type of person that woulda definitely swept Whitaker's actions under the rug for no one to see but yet are quick to enforce the full rules of the law on anyone who isn't close to you.
    • reply
      by snap on May 3, 2011 at 12:16 PM in reply to RE: State Worker
      State worker 1 the facts or not always written correctly in the paper. Hummm. He was charged with conspiracy. Define that. Not possession..... know before you speak out. Things are not always as the seem.....embellishment for readers....like you. hummm
  • by RE: State Worker 1 Location: TALLAHASSEE on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM
    Oh and by the way, let me add that I am a black female who attended FAMU and knew Criminal Whitaker. So Stateworker, what do u say to that???
  • by State Worker 1 Location: Tallahassee on Apr 20, 2011 at 04:50 PM
    To the ones making these criticizing comments about a person you don't know...lets make an observation about you. You're ignorant, uneducated, miserable,racist, and lonely...you are ultimately described as being a hater! Stop spending so much time downing someone you have no clue about...! If you ever watched the movie "Crash", you would know he maybe the one to save your life or your loved ones life one day, then what you gonna say then...oh no, don't help me out this burning car because you're the officer who got arrested for "selling drugs"...., I don't think so. So shut up, especially when you don't know what exactly happened.
  • by The Taxpay Yours Location: Talahassee on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM
    When did law enforcement begin investigating and policing themselves? Why wasn't a judge "hired" by the cops to "dismiss" the charge? Were these convictions the verdicts of another State Attorney Rigged Jury? A law enforcement officer uttering false statements? We've never seen one tell the TRUTH! The Taxpay Yours are confused!
  • by Si Habla Location: Tallahassee on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:32 AM
    Maybe Bill Proctor will get this man a job after we get the Mexicans out of Tallahassee. We need less hard workers and more criminals working on our streets.
  • by ROCK Location: Tallahassee on Apr 19, 2011 at 09:09 AM
    B at home thanking God for his blessings. Just a minor setback for a major comeback. This just goes to show how people can be critics of someone you don't even know. I've known B for more than half of my life and I knew God was not going to let this go down the way you haters and racist would have liked. Still doing our praise dance!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 19, 2011 at 07:56 AM
    If I was receiving what he was getting paid, I too, would have to supplement my income.
  • by FredFlintstone Location: Tallahassee on Apr 19, 2011 at 07:25 AM
    If this was a civilian citizen,he would have been thrown under the jail and not given a slap on the wrist with probation. Different rules for cops.
  • by ktj Location: tallahasssee on Apr 19, 2011 at 06:47 AM
    To all of u making negative comments its clear u don't personally know this individual. we have all done something that could have landed us on the wrong side of the law be it minor or major! He just made a bad mistake and the only reason its being so widely exploited is because of his profession at the time but lets be real this happens everyday sadly but true the others just haven't been caught.
  • by TIR on Apr 18, 2011 at 08:58 PM
    BLACK PEOPLE ARE EVIL BY NATURE!!
    • reply
      by HMA on Apr 19, 2011 at 07:28 AM in reply to TIR
      I heard they were plotting to take over.... God help us!!
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