Atlantic Beach Police Chief Arrested On Drug Charges
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested former Atlantic Beach police chief Michael Classey on 21 counts of drug trafficking, possession and evidence tampering.
According to the FDLE, agents began investigating Classey September 18 after Homeland Security Investigations intercepted a package from India containing controlled substances.
The package was on its way to a UPS store post office box in Jacksonville - a box owned by Classey.
"The package contained just shy of a thousand pills of black market Xanax," said Special Agent Dennis Bustle of FDLE's Jacksonville Operations Center.
HSI notified the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. When Classey left the UPS store last Thursday evening, he was carrying two packages, the second from Moldova containing anabolic steroids.
HSI and FDLE agents confronted Classey outside the store. Special Agent Bustle said samples of package contents were confiscated for testing, but he was not arrested at that time.
The following day, a search of Classey’s home turned up additional anabolic steroids, Xanax, codeine, and a slew of syringes and empty vials.
What the police did not find at the home was Classey’s computer hard drive, which had been tossed in a dumpster near the beach.
"Classey’s son removed it from the home Friday morning at his father’s request," said Bustle, "[His son did not know] he was under criminal investigation."
Classey’s son was cooperative and led investigators to the dumpster later that day, but the hard drive was gone.
An arrest warrant was issued for Classey Monday. He turned himself Tuesday at the Duval County Jail to FDLE Agents. There he was charged with 21 criminal counts including drug possession, trafficking in codeine and tampering with evidence.
Atlantic Beach Mayor Carolyn Woods said as surprising as the new is, there had been rumblings throughout the police department for a while.
"He took over from Chief Thompson," Woods said. "You never know if some of that is change in the way the department is being run, but maybe this was part of the whole situation."
Woods said there was no indication right now that anyone else in the police department was involved.
The Atlantic Beach City Commission will appoint an interim police chief at its October 13 meeting.