Embattled political candidates running for re-election try, hope and pray for all sorts of things to turn their fortunes around. It’s safe to say that, at least since Prohibition, no candidate in Flagler County turned police informant on a drug dealer, as did Joe Mullins, the county commissioner who only weeks ago was disrespecting law enforcement, threatening a state policeman’s job and fabricating the support of two retired police associations he didn’t have.
It isn’t exactly known when, but sometime over the weekend Mullins says someone randomly contacted by by text and offered to sell him an “eight-ball” of cocaine, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. An 8-ball is slang for an eighth of an ounce, or 3.5 grams.
According to his arrest report, Jack Edward Fisher, who turned 18 in late March, texted Mullins. Mullins contacted Chief Mark Strobridge, the sheriff’s right hand, and Strobridge turned it over to investigators. Detectives narrowed the phone number down to that of Fisher and engaged him by text to arrange what would be an undercover buy. The transaction was to take place at Bird of Paradise Lake.
At 12:40 this morning Fisher approached the detectives’ vehicle and made contact with one of the detectives at the rear driver’s side door. The detective “identified himself as a law enforcement officer,” the arrest report states. Fisher allegedly “threw a container he was holding in his right hand toward the lake in an attempt to get rid of the suspected cocaine he was carrying. On the ground next to the container a clear plastic baggy containing a white rock like substance was located.” Fisher was then identified, and a detective called the number Mullins had provided. Fisher’s phone rang, confirming he was the one who’d communicated with the commissioner and with detectives.
The Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the text messages, and a spokesperson said there is no body cam footage.
Fisher was booked at the Flagler County jail–he flashed a broad smile in his booking photo–and was released hours later on $3,000 bond. A few hours later, the Sheriff’s Office issued a release headlined, “Drug Dealer Arrested With Commissioner’s Help,” in which Sheriff Rick Staly is quoted as thanking Mullins “for immediately reporting this poison peddler” and saying Fisher was now “staying at” the jail, though by then Fisher had bonded out.
Fisher was not charged with trafficking or even possession with attempt to sell drugs–only fentanyl possession, a third-degree felony, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, a misdemeanor. He is unlikely to serve any more time in jail than the five and a half hours he served this morning, as such first third-degree felony offenses, if prosecuted, usually result in withheld adjudication and probation.
Fisher, a Leidlel Drive resident in Palm Coast, faced a pot possession charge in May. It was dropped. As a 17 year old, he faced an armed robbery charge, the disposition of which is unclear as he was charged as a juvenile.
If and when citizens report drug dealing or dealers to the police, they generally do so with circumspection. Mullins, it appears, was looking to bank on the publicity, with the Sheriff’s Office’s help.
The release includes a long quote from Mullins rhapsodizing about his “duty to get involved knowing that drug dealers are dangerous people and carry guns many times.” He said he hoped Fisher would seek help, and praised deputies who “deserve out full support.” The release coincides with an ongoing struggle between the sheriff and the County Commission as the sheriff tonight will be seeking commissioners’ support for more of a budget increase than the county administration has so far budgeted for the Sheriff’s Office. (See: “Sheriff Plans Show of Force, and Threatens Appeal to Governor, Over Budget Stalemate With County.”
Asked if random calls from drug dealers to individuals’ cell phones are a common occurrence, Strobridge, a former narcotics investigator, said: “I couldn’t tell you. I’d have to ask my guys.” Strobridge said his days in drug investigations go back to the 1980s. “My experience is much different than it is today because in the 80s I had a beeper, not a cell phone.” He said he now receives “hundreds” of texts “for all kinds of activities,” including random solicitations from “dating type” numbers.
The public response to Mullins’s story has not been as rapturous as his own. The Sheriff’s Office posted its release on the agency’s Facebook page. Comments flooded in, overwhelmingly skeptical, sneering, or questioning
Examples, interspersed with accolades for the Sheriff’s Office and at least one for Mullins: “I have a lot of questions about this. Why did a kid that is obviously a drug dealer have Mullins personal number? I hope this gets investigated a bit more.”
“This is hysterical… druggies know who to sell to …lol.”
“Mullins desperate attempt to win favor after bashing the Cops and threatening Trooper’s job. Bet he set this up as a stunt. This kid, obviously, would do anything for $$ …truth will come out. ( Just small enough and young enough to get off with a slap, he was told what to say and do. Wonder how much $$ he got from Joey ?)”
“Drug dealers don’t just text people they don’t know to sell drugs.”
“Oh Boy….Joey saves the day again….remember what he says…. He runs the county🙄
…..some more from his bag of tricks🥸”
“I’m amazed I made it to 48 years old without ever getting a random text from a drug dealer. I must be blessed.”
“Pretty sure he didn’t just randomly just text him🙄 whole thing sounds sketchy.”
“If Mudflaps thinks this erases all his other buffoonery, he has another thing coming. Totally weird of a drug dealer to contact a county commissioner out of the blue and offer hard drugs. 🤔🤔🤔 Might want to look a little deeper in those phone records Staly.”
And so on. The response resembles a similar cascade of sneers last week after the county published on its Facebook page a release announcing Mullins’s appointment to a couple of committees, what amounted essentially to a participation trophy. See those comments here.
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G A says
Hahahahahaah breathe…… hahahahahahaah……….. Yeah.. I’ve made it over 70 years and not once did a random drug dealer KNOW my phone number and contact me about a drug deal! Hahahahahahahahah You really can’t make this Sh*t up! Thanks for the laugh today!!
Let us hear what the kid has to say.
It could be that there is a dissatisfied customer.
and I’m sitting in the chair next to you —- laughing as well —- my 74 years of life experiences list the same phone limitations
Good ole corrupt Mullins!! Amazing that he claims to “be a hero” (LOL) right around election time. I laughed so hard, I almost lost my lunch!! Oh, but wait, he owns the county and tries to bribe cops. Typical dirt bag Repub!! Haven’t we had enough of this guys BS? We need someone who cares about this community and not a “showboat” looking for glory. Send him back to the sewer he came out of!!
My first thought he pulled this off right around election time. Maybe the Flagler County Commissioners need to test Mullin for drugs, sounds like he knows the dealers in town.
exactly- this guy is a sinister joke
William Ernest Hughey says
How many people that are on the forum are REALLY registered to vote??
How many people that are only trying to ruin people’s chances of being in elected office?
I strongly agree that more people should run for political office!!
If you can take a long time to complain about your political people,then you should register to vote and on election day you should make it a point to VOTE!!
Randy Bentwick says
If you read between the lines…the kid probably raised his prices (inflation hits everybody) and Joey got P.O.ed so he narced. then he tries to play the hero.
Randomly contacted him…right.
Redheaded Stepchild says
Either that or the kid sold Joey some tough acting Tinactin(foot powder) instead of true Columbian bam-bam. LOL
Jairo Castro says
It’s ‘Colombian’, not Columbian. But yeah, that might have been it. LOL.
Burner phone ? Looks like Mullins lost a supporter/vote on this one. Then again, when the drug dealer enters & texts the wrong phone number. Fat fingered or transposed a digit or two on the number pad of the phone. Why would this be published though ? Anonymous tips are safer, with drug peddlers you never know about a payback that might be in the near future ? Hard to say really, some made comments it was Joe staging this. What if it was another that tried to set him up. Timing is a little too convenient for election time. If a comment can be made to the effect that, how does a drug dealer have Mullin’s personal number ? Better question, who may have leaked it.
Trump's Sharpie says
He had a statement ready. I do think it was a set up, but probably by him.
Amazing with all the people in Flagler County Mullin was picked to sell drugs to. Wonder how that could possibly happen? Story sounds a little fishie especially when Mullin is involved.
Stupid Criminals. Next time just text or call Staley directly geeez Lol. Only in FPC Florida
Michael Van Buren says
I don’t trust anything that has the name Mullins associated with it. Just saying
3rd degree misdemeanor? How do you figure!
He’s 18. Prison just for the fentanyl.
Mullins is full of it. This kid had to have him in his phone as a contact. Random? Pfft.
Old supplier I’m guessing.
Makes you wonder why the kid had Joe’s cell number doesn’t it? Regular customer perhaps?
Drug dealers in Flagler County are not going to like the fact that Joe ratted out one of their brethren. They might not vote for him.
Joe, if you want publicity save a drowning puppy don’t stage a bogus drug buy. You probably knew he would get no time in jail and he was stupid enough to go along with your scam.
Keep Flagler Beautiful says
And meanwhile, it’s just another day in dirtbag Mullins’ miserable life, meaning another lurid headline-worthy incident. Apparently Mullins got into a fight with candidate Linda Hansen at a polling place, and deputies had to be called. He’s worse than an STD. He’s a pox on our county.
An 18 year old’s third incident and he’s smiling?! Why? Randomly texted for an alleged drug deal? Offered to sell an “eight-ball”? Alleged drug dealers don’t text customers. How was it determined to be random? Because Mullins said so? Customers text dealers. Dealers wouldn’t use “eight-ball”. Dealers know police and the public recognize code words. Dealers, unless on a street corner, don’t approach customer vehicles. Does anyone not watch the many police shows across satellite? His third incident and he’s out on bond? Who’s his attorney and who’s paying the attorney? Come on, man!
You will never have any support from the law enforcement community. Remember you blew it with you reckless driving or. I run the county attitude . All you ever run is you mouth. You standing in front of a sheriff star .you just don’t get it not one law enforcement officer active duty or retired will support you let alone.vote for you . Remember also we have wives. Or there family members who will not vote for a man that needs a lot of help.go ahead with the putty party but remember but remember YOU did this to yourself. You conduct at the library over the weekend was discusting but it was so JOE MULLINS. I run the county what a joke best thing you could do is resign. Use health issues for the reason
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN says
According to Mullins quote one would think he would be in favor of gun control. or does he just randomly rambles on according to what is convenient for Joey at the time.
Been There says
If this blows back on Mullins (pun intended), he’ll just say he was framed or evidence was planted. Whatever. The Sheriff is also leaning on the commission for a larger budget. They ALL have to go; three constitutionals and four commissioners. Bye bye.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Hmmmmm. On Mullins Bio page on on the Supervisor of Election website he lists a Georgia company phone number… I had no idea he has a local text number. I cannot control my laughter all day; how stupid does he think we are?
However, in all fairness there is a 1 percent chance the caller dialed Joe’s number by ‘mistake’. Okay maybe 2 percent chance…
Joseph Barand says
Maybe Joe got short changed on previous drug deals and is now trying to get back at his suppliers.
Tina Compton says
A drug dealer just happened to accidentally dial up Mullins number offering him cocaine?
Preposterous to say the least. Can we just be done with joe who runs the county mullins? please.
Keep Flagler Beautiful says
Of COURSE they let him go. If they had charged him with anything, his lawyer just might have cut a deal in exchange for the young man telling them how he happened to have Mullins’ private phone number and why he would be contacting him about drugs. Potentially embarrassing? If not embarrassing, maybe uncomfortable, and not a good look. To me, it seems like a theory to consider.
Michael Cocchiola says
A random text? C’mon!
Joe no mo…
Purveyor of Truth says
Conservatives have a choice. Elect Pennington; a candidate with integrity and decency.
Flagler County shouldn’t have to settle for the refuse we’ve been enduring for the last four years.
NO to Mullins!
Joe Mullins just put our Flagler Deputies lives at risk. This was without a doubt a political stunt. Staley needs to investigate this immediately!
Who in their right mind would believe this was just a random text??
Bunnell Boy says
I smell a rat in this deal. Amazing this happens a few weeks before the election!
hahahahahahaha. Moon Mullins strikes again. What a strange coincidence that a drug dealer just happens to have his number or, hahahaha, misdials and get him. How naive does he think we are? “Meet me at the deserted warehouse at midnight, Come alone, tell no one, come unarmed.” It’s like something out of a bad tv police drama.
God, I hope voters don’t fall for this BS from Mullins. Although we do have dumb drug dealers, and age may be possible based on the perp’s history, but seriously!!!!! In the many years that I have had a cell phone, I have never ever, had a drug dealer call me by accident. I applaud the sheriff’s office for doing their job. But if Staly is falling into supporting the JOKE Mullins it will be time for him to go as well. This smells so bad, and an attempt by this worthless a commissioner to paint a better picture for himself. Voters it’s time to make a change, let’s get this dirt bag Mullins out of the county. He’s noting but manipulative lying, deceitful, thug, just to name a few. Don’t follow down the rabbit hole.
Fast cars, fast women, fast food and fast drugs.
I call BS. Look at the kid smiling, he knows nothing is going to happen, because it was all staged.
Timothy pennington says
This is just “Joe” being “Joe”. I know Leann Pennington and these lies that Joe Mullins publishes concerning her being a Liberal are typical of someone who has spent his life lying about anything he says or does. The same way with the Observer. Leann has lived in Palm Coast most of her life. She attended Wadsworth in the 5th grade and church schools also in Palm Coast. Her son is 17 and has lived in Palm Coast all his life. The Observer is so bias about everything they publish. They have no credibility.. Mr Walsh does not check his facts. He supports Joe Mullins. Why, because he receives money by publishing news that is false. Birds of a feather. They are afraid of Leann because she has spent her career investigating fraud. Look out, Flagler county Commissioners. She will do more for the people of Flagler County than maybe they deserve. My question is “Who in the world wants to elect someone that is “Joe being Joe”? Vote for A change, vote for Leann Pennington.
Observer is happy to get his money for half page ads, they gladly endorsed him. Money he spent well.
I may not renew my subscription.
The Geode says
…but you just gave them a “free plug”. I’ll go check it out, thanks for the endorsement
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN says
Mullins once again took a very serious nation wide problem and used it for his CHEAP POLITICAL PURPOSES, just like the traffic stop where he told the troopers that he RUNS THE COUNTY and thy had to chase him don to make the stop!
What a coincidence this hapoens 2 days after Mullens presumably makes a ass out of himself at the early voting tent. This is some big league smoke and mirrors routine. If our officials and law enforcement is not looking into this then shame on them.
Mullins turned in his connect!!!! Thats funny. Dealers dont call around asking if you want something. It sells itself. So someone would’ve contacted the kid and the kid responded back.
Dale Murphy says
FCSO asked Mullins to make a comment for the press release, not the other way around. He probably thought it was a great opportunity to toot his own horn; I’m glad he’s catching the backlash, however I don’t necessarily believe he’s buying drugs.
This whole thing stinks to high heaven.
So does his conduct recently – check this out:
People seem to forget, Mullins said ““I run the county” during a stop for speeding on June 19, according to Trooper dashcam footage. …. Makes you wonder about this drug report, setup for votes , humm.
Remember to VOTE people
FB Native says
I wonder if FSCO investigators will search the dealer’s phone to ensure no prior messages were sent/received by Joe Blow.
The timing of this incident is just too coincidental to be real.
Mr. Bill says
This stunt was nothing compared to the libelous “Pennington is a Democrat in disguise” flyer that arrived in my mail. I’ve never been so shocked to think you can print “almost lies” like this and get away with it. I contacted the Pennington campaign and was told it was nobody other than Joe Mullins! What fraud! What deceit! How stupid does he think we are? According to his “reported business dealings” Joe Mullins has deceived many innocent people. He’s not getting me.
Two more Republicans just voted against Mullins. Get out an vote. Show Joe the door. There is a solid choice in this primary.
There’s something more to this story! Joe Mullins may support the police, but looking at this independently, I don’t believe it. No one in their right mind would randomly text someone to sell cocaine.
Timothy Pennington says
This information was sent to Governor DeSantis, lets see what he does about it.
Timothy Pennington says
I need to correct my comments. I should have wrote that I sent this information to Governor DeSantis and am awaiting his reply, it is in my. opinion a libel action with a lot of potential third party defendants
Keep Flagler Beautiful says
He’s been running ads on Fox-TV late at night, with his massively Photoshopped face alongside a pic of Trump. I wonder if Trump even knows he’s tacitly “endorsing” the creep on this ad. I doubt it, since Mullins is radioactive and not exactly the guy anyone with their own political ambitions would want to be aligned. Either way, it makes me want to hurl every time his red Popeye face shows up on the screen, and my immediate thought is, how did he pay for those ads? He claims he’s broke and on the verge of bankruptcy.
Concerned Citizen says
Saving Flagler County from coke dealers one day to screaming at Greg Hansen’s wife and making a spectacle of himself – what’s next Joe Mullins?!?
He snitched on his own drug dealer . The man has NO morals.
Joe Shmoe says
This glows harder than uranium glass under a black light.. you’d have to have barely 2 brain cells to rub together to even begin thinking this is real. Joe is an idiot and a sham, and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Keep Flagler Beautiful says
You’re right, and yet some people are blindly voting for Mullins because of those phony baloney postcards he has sent out that imply he is endorsed by DeSantis. In fact, it’s the other way around. If you read all of the text on those cards, HE endorses DeSantis, saying he supports DeSantis’ policies!!! What nerve. I’m sure DeSantis would be deeply appreciative to know he has received an endorsement from a scumbag law-breaking, slum landlord, accused fraudster and near-bankrupt bum like Mullins, who is reviled by all who know his true back story. No one should be fooled by those postcards. They’re the worst, most salacious campaign materials I’ve ever seen from ANY candidate in ANY race. I hope enough Flagler County residents will seek the truth before they vote and that Mullins will go down in flames, tuck tail and go back to Georgia.