47-year-old Mark Williams, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper, faces drug charges after he was allegedly observed buying hydrocodone, a narcotic drug, from 64-year-old Elliot Goode, according to a news article at WKRN.com.
Williams was on duty and in uniform when Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents caught him in the act; the investigation had begun earlier in the year. Williams has worked with the Highway Patrol since January of 2004, and was placed on discretionary leave with pay following his arrest. All departmental equipment including badges and weapons were confiscated from Williams, according to state officials.
Williams was assigned to Lauderdale County in his position as a state trooper. He and Goode were booked into the county jail, where Williams was held on $10,000 bond and Goode on $7,500 bond.
Goode was charged with one count of delivery of a controlled substance, however news reports did not indicate the charge(s) Williams will face.
In the state of Michigan, using hydrocodone (also known as Vicodin) without a prescription is generally a misdemeanor; however when an individual is charged with possession of hydrocodone, it is typically charged as a felony. Misdemeanor offenses leave the accused facing a maximum of one year in jail if found guilty. If convicted of hydrocodone possession, the offender could face up to two years in prison and/or up to $2,000 in fines (in Michigan), along with other penalties.
Any drug charge should be considered serious, as it can impact not only your freedom, but your reputation and career as well. Certain drug charges such as possession with intent to distribute/deliver can result in decades in prison, or even life depending on the type and amount of substance involved.
If you or someone you know is facing drug charges, consult with a capable Michigan drug crime attorney at once. Your legal rights must be protected; by taking action now, it may be possible to limit the damaging consequences or even have charges dismissed or reduced. Depending on the situation, there may be other options as well including drug courts or deferred/delayed sentencing.