Man arrested for trying to bribe deputy and trafficking cocaine

The suspect had recently been released from state prison.

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  • | 1:00 p.m. March 4, 2022
  • Palm Coast Observer
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A Flagler Beach man who was released from prison four months ago has tried to bribe a Flagler County Sheriff's Office deputy and is now back in jail.

"Trying to bribe a deputy sheriff and damage the reputation of the Sheriff’s Office will get you in jail every time."


— RICK STALY, Flagler County sheriff

The suspect, 34-year-old Sean Fitzpatrick, had been childhood friends with the deputy he tried to bribe. He ran into the deputy after being released from prison, and offered a deal: If the deputy had access to illegal drugs due to his position in law enforcement, Fitzpatrick could sell the drugs on the street, and then share the profit with the deputy. 

The deputy immediately came forward and reported this information with detectives in the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit. 

Special Investigations Unit detectives then arranged controlled meetings between the deputy and Fitzpatrick. In one meeting, they discussed the possibility of getting large amounts of narcotics, using the term “kilo,” to sell on the street.

Detectives decided to set up a drug bust where a final meeting would take place with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Tri-County Task Force, of which FCSO is a member.

Working undercover, the deputy told Fitzpatrick that taking evidence, such as illegal drugs, to Jacksonville to be destroyed at an undisclosed facility is something that was among his duties from time to time. During the next meeting, Fitzpatrick took possession of a kilo of cocaine from the deputy. 

Fitzpatrick is now being held on charges of Bribery of a Law Enforcement Officer and Trafficking Cocaine in excess of 400 grams.

One kilogram of cocaine is worth more than $30,000 on the streets. That number goes up exponentially when the product is “cut” and sold in much smaller amounts to buyers. 

“Attempting to bribe one of my deputies to help poison our county makes you a first-class dirt bag who should never see the light of day again,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “He’s been in and out of the state prison system for everything from burglary to grand theft. This time, he tried to abuse an old relationship with a friend from his school days to launch a career peddling poison in Flagler County. Trying to bribe a deputy sheriff and damage the reputation of the Sheriff’s Office will get you in jail every time. I’m very proud of my deputy that he kept his oath strong even when tested by an old high school classmate. Thanks to the work of our detectives, FDLE and our deputy, this dirt bag’s short-lived drug dealing career is over. And this time, he needs to go to prison for decades.”

Fitzpatrick served five years in state prison from September 2011 to October 2016 for Burglary, Grand Theft and Fleeing and Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer.

Just 15 months after his first release from state prison, he returned for a second stint on new charges including Burglary and Fleeing and Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer. He then served more than three years in prison and was last released in October 2021. 

The FDLE Tri-County Narcotics Task Force consist of multiple agencies including FCSO, St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Palatka Police Department, St. Augustine Police Department, Homeland Security and ATF.


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