Another Day, Another Florida Politician Busted for Drugs

By McCarton Ackerman 11/29/13

While not quite on the level of Toronto's Rob Ford, two Florida politicians have made their share of drug news in recent days.

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Welcome to the Sunshine Narcotics State
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Turns out Trey Radel isn’t the only Florida politician embroiled in a drug scandal this month. Mayor Barry Layne Moore of Hampton, FL was arrested this past Monday for selling and possession of oxycodone. The 51-year-old is currently being held in a local jail in lieu of $45,000 bail. The arresting officer, Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith, made a not-so-subtle reference to infamous mayor Rob Ford by declaring that “this isn’t Toronto. We will not tolerate illegal drug activity in my jurisdiction by anyone, including our elected officials.”

Local officials have called for Moore to step down from office, but like Ford, he has shown no indication that he plans on doing so. And this isn’t the first time Moore has found himself in legal hot water. In October 2012, he was arrested and charged with battery, and two months later he was booked with a probation violation for the same crime. In 2005, he was arrested but not charged with battery, and in 2011 he had three moving traffic violations with fines totaling $1,000.

Meanwhile, his fellow Floridian Congressman Trey Radel has taken a leave of absence from the House until the end of the year and has entered drug rehab after being arrested for possession of cocaine. Radel was swept up in a federal drug sting last month after buying the drug from an undercover agent in Washington, D.C. The charge is particularly ironic because he had taken public policy stances that included asking welfare recipients to pass a drug test to make them eligible for food stamps. Like Ford and Moore, Radel has given no indication that he will step down, even though his fellow Republicans have started to call for his resignation.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.