JACKSONVILLE, Fla – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) trooper with 22 years of experience in Duval County on Friday after buying drugs from an undercover operative, according to federal court filings.
Joshua Earrey, who was also assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) task force, was arrested on charges of being an “unlawful user or addict of controlled substances in possession of a firearm,” the filings said.
The report stated that a cooperating defendant, who was arrested for homeland security offenses in August 2022, provided information about Earrey to the Department of Homeland Security. Earrey who had back surgery in January 2023 was working light administrative desk duty through March.
The cooperating defendant told law enforcement that Earrey became addicted to oxycodone for back pain and that he warned him about becoming addicted, the report said. The person also told law enforcement that Earrey had been buying “roxies,” which is slang for Oxycodone, for $30 a pill for at least a year, and he said that the pills came from an oxy source who had a prescription that allowed for 80 to 90 pills a month at 30 milligrams each.
The cooperating defendant was a middleman between the source and Earrey, the report stated.
According to the court document, at one point in November 2022, Earrey was having trouble paying for the drugs and wanted to split payments.
The court filing shows Earrey had 43 valid prescriptions from May 2018 to January 2023. The court document revealed over 4,500 text messages and more than 3,000 phone calls between Earrey and the oxy source.
The FBI interviewed an acquaintance of Earrey who indicated that Earrey owned multiple firearms. The person said they had knowledge of a Glock and an AR-10 along with a rifle scope. The report states the weapons were manufactured outside the state of Florida and Earrey “possessed them in an affecting interstate or foreign commerce.”
Lauren Prater, an attorney unaffiliated with this case, said Earrey’s inappropriate interactions with his confidential source can cause his agency to look back over all of his previous cases for wrongdoings.
“His credibility is completely diminished at this point. So any case that he’s involved in all of sudden is tainted. He really did a disservice to his agency,” Prater said.
News4JAX learned that Earrey had a storied law enforcement career. In 2009, he was honored by the Florida Cabinet as Trooper of the Year after he arrested a man who was attempting to carjack a woman and her child at gunpoint in 2008.
Earrey appeared in federal court on Friday and his bond was set at $50,000. He was also ordered not to have any contact with DEA or FHP employees.
News4JAX reached out to his attorney but has not heard back. We also contacted FHP for comment and have not heard anything.
The Earrey family released a statement that said: “Josh acknowledges he needs help and will be checking himself into a rehab facility as soon as possible.”