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Mystery Man Pays Water Bill With Cocaine, Triggers Hazmat Response

By Betty Wang, JD on September 26, 2013 4:17 PM

How do you pay your water bill? By cash, check, or credit card? According to The West Volusia Beacon, a mystery man in Florida decided to do so by cocaine. Or, was it just a generous donation to the water department? If so, somebody still needs to pay their bill.

The man, currently unidentified, walked into the water department office earlier this week and handed the cashier an envelope. The envelope contained a white powder, which triggered hazmat teams to respond. After the powder was tested, it was confirmed to be crack cocaine.

The Volusia County Sheriff's department has confirmed that the building has surveillance cameras, the Beacon reports, but his identity is still unconfirmed. What types of charges might our mystery bill-payer be facing?

Possession of Cocaine

Possessing cocaine is illegal under both federal and state law. In order to find a suspect guilty, drug possession laws generally require:

  1. that the substance is illegal,
  2. that the defendant knew that the drug was an illegal substance, and
  3. that he had control over the drug.

In this case, our mystery man allegedly had the crack cocaine in an envelope that he willingly handed over as payment. Florida's drug possession laws require the same elements to prove a defendant guilty.

Drug possession laws generally fall into one of two categories: simple possession (just for one's own personal use) or possession with intent to distribute. In this case, the suspect seemed not only to possess the crack, but clearly had the intent to distribute when he handed the drug-filled envelope over.

Mystery Man Behind Bars?

If our mystery man is identified and ultimately convicted of this crime, he could be looking at both prison time and fines far heftier than most water bills -- and he'll be spending a lot less time in the shower.

Under Florida's criminal laws, possession of cocaine is considered a 3rd degree felony, while possession of 28 grams or more is considered trafficking (a 1st degree felony).

In other news, no one else has come forward with a check payment for a water bill claiming that his or her cocaine is missing.

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