St. Augustine Man Faces Mandatory Life In Prison On Drug Trafficking Charges
Jacksonville, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces the unsealing of an indictment charging James Lamark Early (38, St. Augustine) with conspiring to manufacture and distribute more than 280 grams of cocaine base (commonly known as "crack" cocaine), maintaining a drug-involved premise, and multiple distributions of cocaine base. Due to multiple prior felony drug offense convictions, if convicted on all counts, Early faces a mandatory sentence of life in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Early that the United States intends to forfeit residential property that was allegedly used to facilitate the offenses.
According to the indictment, between January 2010 and October 15, 2011, Early conspired with others to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine in St. Johns County. During the same period, it is also alleged that he used and maintained a drug-involved premise, specifically a residential property located at 695 Duval Street in St. Augustine, for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, and using crack cocaine. Early is also charged with distributing crack cocaine in St. Johns County on four separate occasions.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mac D. Heavener, III.