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Flagler Sheriff’s 34-Year-Old Son Arrested on Xanax Possession

| December 10, 2010

William Fleming's booking photos (FCSO)

Flagler County Sheriff Don Fleming has been on a personal campaign against pill mills, appearing before local government boards to lobby for ordinances that would impose a moratorium on new pain clinics until state law regulates their proliferation better.

On Thursday evening, Fleming’s 34-year-old son William was arrested and booked into the Flagler County jail for possession of Xanax, a controlled substance, without a prescription.

“This is an issue that my family is dealing with, much like other families around the country. I will continue my pilgrimage to stop the proliferation of pill mills in Flagler County and across the state. As unfortunate as this incident is, his arrest may save his life,” Fleming said in a statement released through his office just after noon today (Dec. 10), announcing the arrest.

The sheriff’s office treated the arrest almost as any other: William Fleming was arrested by Sheriff’s deputies Roster and Civil, he was booked at 6:25 p.m. Thursday, according to the jail log, and Debra Johnson, the sheriff’s public information officer, distributed the sheriff’s release at midday. Two related narratives of the arrest, however, which FlaglerLive obtained after 3:30 p.m., were heavily redacted. Among the information redacted was the name of the 27-year-old female passenger who was traveling with Fleming when he was pulled over. The woman is on probation for grand theft. Case reports don’t usually blank out the names of adults involved in someone else’s arrest. Johnson explained that the woman is a suspect, so wouldn’t be identified until charged and arrested because an investigation is ongoing.

Fleming, who was living with his father in Palm Coast and is listed in his jail booking as being self-employed, was arrested following a 4 p.m. traffic stop on Palm Harbor Parkway and Colorado Drive in Palm Coast.

According to narratives of the arrest filed by two deputies, Fleming was driving a Toyota Camry that he’d rented because his own vehicle was in the shop. Fleming had originally been parked by the side of a road in front of a home, which the reports don’t identify, until a woman exited the home and entered his car. Both narratives’ first four lines are redacted, so it’s unclear why Fleming was under surveillance to start with–why deputies were observing his parked car in front of that home, or why they followed him once he started driving. He was pulled over because he was “having trouble maintaining his lane of travel,” according to one report.

When Fleming noticed police lights behind him, according to the report, the woman he was traveling with said he handed her a Marlboro cigarette pack containing Xanax pills and “told her he would bail her out if she was arrested.” The second deputy’s report put it slightly differently: “The passenger told me that the driver handed her a Marlboro cigarette pack that had some pills in it and that if she gets in trouble he would get it taken care of. The passenger said that she does not want the driver to get in trouble but she wants him to get help.”

Initially, according to the first report, Fleming denied knowing anything about pills “and does not have a narcotics problem.” The deputy then walked away from Fleming. Fleming called him back. At that point, Fleming was read his Miranda rights. The case report is redacted again, making the sequence of events unclear. The woman he was traveling with was released at the scene.

Both reports list the same evidence seized: three Cyclobenzapine pills, one 2 mg Xanax pill in a small clear plastic bag, 3.5 2 mg Xanax pills located at the bottom of an empty Marlboro box, and one package of rolling papers and one cut straw. Both case reports, in an apparent mistake, list the passenger as a 27-year-old male, although there is no mention of a male in the case narratives.

Fleming was held on $1,000 bond at the jail, on one count of possessing a controlled substance without prescription, a felony.

“Neither the Sheriff nor the agency will have further comment on this pending legal matter,” the sheriff’s news release stated.

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9 Responses for “Flagler Sheriff’s 34-Year-Old Son Arrested on Xanax Possession”

  1. Think says:

    Anyone who would arrest their bosses son needs their head examined.
    Equal application of the law my a**.
    You don’t do that.

    The fact is that not everyone gets treated equally in the eyes of the law. That is a fact.

    I would question if the search was even legal.
    So what if they don’t arrest him on the spot, they could easily have gotten a warrant and picked him up later.

    Deputy Sheriff is a patronage appointment. One serves at the pleasure of the Sheriff.

  2. KC says:

    Amen for transparency. Sheriff Fleming has my respect for his honesty and my prayers for a full recovery for his son. It must be awful to have to confront such issues with your children and I sincerely hope that the younger Mr. Fleming can move past this issue.

    It doesn’t appear that anything untoward has happened and I’m glad this arrest appears to have been handled without regard for family ties.

  3. GottaBeTuff says:

    Right on KC. There is a bond for this crime yet he still sits in jail almost 24 hours later. Looks like some tough love is occurring.

  4. There is a story about a 16 year old boy who was charged with shoplifting in Ireland. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by the Judge, his own father. He was lynched. His father was named Judge Lynch and from that day on “Getting Lynched” took on a whole new meaning.
    We should not rush to judgment about situations and pass sentence on people until they have been convicted.

  5. pills are evil says:

    i hope the flemming family overcomes this problem…

    sheriff flemming does a great job around here-just look at the gang problem hes fixing-now pills-its alot for one person in charge of a whole county to endure

  6. Sassymom says:

    I applaud Sheriff Fleming for having the balls to have his son not only be arrested but to sit in jail. Talk about tough love. How many parents would deny their child had a problem or tried to cover it up.

  7. John Rogers says:

    I don’t think there is a family in America that addiction has not touched including mine. I remember when our very own Governor’s daughter was arrested for pills. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Fleming family at this time, and we are believing that William’s best is yet to come.

  8. Praying for the Flemmings says:

    I have known Billy since he moved here. He has had accident last year that left him with spinal injuries, broken ribs, and nerve damage in his arm. He was taking perscribed pain medicine, but he got to the point where it was out of control. I commend Sherrif Flemming for showing some tough love to his son and hopefully this will save his life. I am not going to state what and where Billy’s been too in the last 6 months, but I’ve seen first hand how this addiction is destroying him. I think we all need to respect the families privacy and commend Sherrif Flemming for cracking down on these so called “pill mills.” There’s a time when you’re injured and need pain medicine, but not like this. The best thing all of us can do is pray for Billy and his family and hope he can come overcome this.

  9. Haw Creek Girl says:

    ” It’s horrifying how much you can hate yourself for being low and weak. There was always more, you know. When one tried to help I told them that they made me feel small and worthless. But nobody makes us feel that, we do that for ourselves. I shut them out because I knew if they ever really saw who I was inside, they wouldn’t love me. And I don’t know if I’m going to get a second chance but I have to believe….That I deserve one. Because we all do.”

    God bless and keep you, William Fleming and here’s a prayer that you just keep on saying again and again until it takes root in your heart and in your soul.

    God, grant me the Serenity to accept
    the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    and Wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time,
    Enjoying one moment at a time,
    Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
    Taking, as Jesus did,
    This sinful world as it is,
    Not as I would have it,
    Trusting that You will make all things right,
    If I surrender to Your will,
    So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
    And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

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