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Sheriff's office volunteer accused of selling oxycodone from patrol car

The 69-year-old volunteer made $900 a month by selling the drugs, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

LAKE WALES, Fla. — A volunteer with the Polk County Sheriff's Office was arrested after deputies say he sold drugs out of a patrol car.

Yes, you read that correctly.

David Roberts, 69, was arrested Thursday after an undercover investigation busted his illegal actions, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters Friday during a news conference.

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, Judd said. But instead of taking all of them, the sheriff said Roberts sold them for $10 each.

Adding everything up, Judd says the 69-year-old is making $900 a month by selling them.

But how was Roberts caught? After deputies received a tip, they say an undercover detective contacted the volunteer to buy drugs.

After meeting up at a RaceTrac in Lake Wales, the undercover detective realized Roberts was sitting in his assigned sheriff's office car, ready to sell the pills.

The cherry on top? Roberts was also wearing his volunteer uniform.

"That makes me crazy, that makes me so crazy I want to pluck my eyeballs out one at a time," Judd said.

After the exchange happened, the undercover detective followed him and arrested him in the PCSO Southeast Command Center parking lot, Judd explains.

During a search of his house later, deputies say they found marijuana and two guns.

Seeming to have more secrets to uncover, a criminal history was run only to discover Roberts is a convicted felon from 52 years ago, according to Judd. Roberts was 19 years old when he was arrested and convicted of burglary.

After an administrative look into volunteer files, it looks as though whoever was working 12 years ago missed Roberts' past criminal history, the sheriff says.

"Volunteers don't go through the normal HR, detailed polygraph system that full-time employees do," Judd explains. "But there's to be a complete background run on him and 12 years ago...apparently [the worker] didn't do it."

The arrest came as a surprise to his colleagues at the sheriff's office. Judd said Roberts had been described as friendly, fun to be around and hard-working.

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."

Watch the news conference starting from 10:36 in the video below:

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