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Former Fla. mayor sentenced in area drug case

Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A former correctional officer and elected mayor from north central Florida has received a three-year prison sentence for his involvement in a Putnam County oxycodone ring.

Jason Corley Padgett, 36, of Hampton, Fla., received his punishment Monday from U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers. The defendant had pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to illegally distribute the prescription painkiller. He signed an agreement with prosecutors admitting he shipped between 2,000 and 3,000 oxycodone pills to a confidential informant in Winfield, W.Va.

That informant led authorities to Padgett, identifying him as one of several sources of supply for the local drug ring, according to the agreement. The U.S. Attorney's Office filed a motion crediting Padgett with providing the prosecution substantial assistance.

Padgett's attorney sought a short prison term, all while acknowledging in a sentencing memorandum the likelihood that his client would serve time behind bars. The memorandum described Padgett as a former correctional officer and elected mayor who sold drugs to feed an addiction born out of a serious work injury in 2006.

Padgett's plea agreement states he began supplying the informant with oxycodone in fall 2010, at a time when Padgett lived in Tampa, Fla. Some transactions took place in Florida, but most involved Padgett shipping the pills through parcel carriers to Winfield, W.Va.

The two would communicate verbally and by text message through cellphones, according to the agreement. It states the informant would deposit money into Padgett's checking account. That would prompt Padgett to ship the pills. Records show more than $43,000 in cash deposits and 13 packages shipped from Padgett to the informant, the agreement states.

Padgett was arrested April 6, 2011, in Jacksonville, Fla., where he provided the informant with 200 oxycodone pills. The arrest led to the seizure of a loaded, .38 caliber revolver and additional oxycodone pills, according to the agreement.