Former Lake County employee arrested on drug distribution charges
Ryan Summerlin July 31, 2013
A former employee of the Lake County Office of Land Use, Maintenance and Building Department was arrested Monday and charged with possession with intent to distribute prescription drugs after authorities say he tried to pay coworkers in the county government to buy painkillers for him.
John Thomas “Tommy” Taylor, 41, has been under investigation for several months, according to a statement from prosecutors. He is currently out on a $15,000 bond.
“This prosecution has a heightened importance because many of these offenses occurred while Mr. Taylor was on the job,” District Attorney Bruce Brown said. “Any time a government employee engages in criminal activity it threatens to damage the public’s trust in government. We initiate such prosecutions with great seriousness.”
Officials allege between March 2011 and November of last year, Taylor asked coworkers in the Land Use, Maintenance and Building Department to purchase prescriptions like Oxycodone, Percocet, Oxyontin and Vicodin, offering them money as an incentive. He is suspected to have then illegally distributed the pills he was able to get after keeping some for himself, according to the statement.
No other arrests had been made related to the case as of Wednesday.
It’s not clear when Taylor’s employment with Lake County was terminated or why. The Lake County Commissioners Office did not return requests for a comment on the arrest Wednesday.
The prosecution is basing its case on interviews with several witnesses as well as unspecified records, according to the DA’s statement
Taylor is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a schedule II controlled substance, a Class 3 felony, two counts of inducement of a controlled substance, also a Class 3 felony, and a single count of possession of a controlled substance, a Class 6 felony.
If convicted, Taylor could face four to 16 years in prison for the intent to distribute and each of the inducement charges, and up to 18 months behind bars for the possession charge.
“These charges are serious felonies for which commitment to the Department of Corrections is a possible sentence,” Brown said.