Jacksonville man sentenced for drug offense at JaxPort

Previous booking photo of Bobby Lee Smith
Previous booking photo of Bobby Lee Smith

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 48-year-old Jacksonville man was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for attempting to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Bobby Lee Smith pleaded guilty on Oct. 31, 2014.

According to court documents, in 2012, Smith applied for and received a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card. The TWIC card allowed Smith to have unescorted access to various parts of the JaxPort facility in Jacksonville. It also allowed him to escort individuals on and off JaxPort.

Between January and early March 2014, a law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity conducted a series of meetings and recorded phone calls with Smith regarding drugs coming through JaxPort. During these conversations, Smith stated that he could get anything on or off JaxPort's Blount Island Terminal.

On March 7, 2014, Smith agreed to meet with the undercover officer's partner at the Blount Island Terminal. Smith agreed to pick up a package containing five kilograms of cocaine and then deliver it to the officer.

Later that day, Smith went to the JaxPort Blount Island Terminal and, using his TWIC card, proceeded to the area where the partner was waiting. Smith then met with the partner and took possession of a package he believed contained the cocaine.

Upon exiting the terminal, Smith headed in the opposite direction of the predetermined meeting site with the officer. Smith then examined the contents of the package and wrapped the purported cocaine in a t-shirt.

During a subsequent traffic stop by law enforcement, the package of fake cocaine was recovered from the front passenger floorboard where Smith was seated. 

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air/Marine Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.