Port St. Joe man sentenced to 30 years in drug case

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — A 44-year-old Port St. Joe man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after previously pleading guilty to drug and firearm charges, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Ruben Ivan Fuller’s criminal history includes eight prior felony convictions, six of which involved narcotics distribution. Given the nature of his prior convictions, Fuller qualified as an armed career criminal and a career offender and was subject to increased Federal sentencing penalties.

Ruben Fuller

“Those who repeatedly commit serious crimes are deserving of significant prison sentences,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Coody. “Due to the collective efforts of the Tyndall Air Force Base Security Forces, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, this armed drug trafficker has been called to account for his continued criminal conduct, and the community is safer as a result.”

Court documents reflect that between November 2018, and February 2019, Fuller received large amounts of methamphetamine from various sources, which he resold to lower-level drug dealers. On July 26, 2019, Tyndall Air Force Base Security Forces conducted a traffic stop during which Fuller was found in possession of marijuana, 48.72 grams of methamphetamine, a .380 pistol and ammunition, and $8640 cash. On August 16, 2019, investigators with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office observed Fuller walk inside of a home for which a search warrant was to be executed. Fuller was carrying a brown paper bag at the time. A few minutes later, Fuller left the residence, still carrying the paper bag. Fuller was followed as he drove away from the residence and his vehicle stopped by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

The brown paper bag was found to contain 482.6 grams of methamphetamine. A second bag containing an additional 27.4 grams of methamphetamine was also found in Fuller’s vehicle.

Fuller pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

“The Bay County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to valuable partnerships between law enforcement entities that strengthen our capabilities to protect and serve,” said Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford. “Anyone attempting to bring drugs and violence onto our streets will face an effective, unified team safeguarding our communities.”

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