Ocala officer arrested after marijuana found in police cruiser, cops say

Officer resigns, faces drug charges

OCALA, Fla. – Ocala Police Department has arrested an officer on drug charges after police say they found marijuana in the officer's cruiser.

Jeffrey Hall, who has since resigned from duty, was arrested on Monday on possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"It's disbelief how anyone could be that stupid to do something along those lines as a sworn police officer," Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham said.

An investigation into Hall, 26, began on March 17 when officers received a tip that Hall was using marijuana at a trailer on State Road 40. Neighbors remember seeing the officer there all the time.

"He was here pretty much every other day in uniform, marked car. He had his gun. Didn't really think too much about it, thought he was a probation officer for the guy who lived there," one neighbor who did not want to be identified said.

Police said during the investigation, they found Hall had visited the trailer more than a dozen times since February, sometimes while he was on duty.

Investigators responded to the trailer on Friday and found Hall and his marked patrol vehicle, which had a smoking device with a charge, THC, marijuana and rolling papers.

"We don't have any proof that he was using on duty, but we certainly believe that he was," Graham said.
The chief adds his department is now under scrutiny because of one officer's actions.

"Almost all of the officers that work here are true, honest, hardworking, dedicated, honorable public servants and it's officers like this that give us all a bad name," Graham said.

Graham tells News 6 the State Attorney's Office is looking into 33 cases Hall was involved with and will determine how to handle them. The chief adds his arrest is causing the police department to review how it checks officers' cars and conducts drug tests.

"We're doing a pretty extensive self-evaluation to make sure that this is something that we should have caught," Graham said.

Hall was suspended on Friday and resigned from duty. He was arrested Monday and booked into Marion County jail. He was released on a $2,750 bond.

Hall's attorney Stacy Youmans tells News 6 in a statement, "We are still learning about the allegations. At this point we plan to aggressively defend against the charges. Mr. Hall looks forward to resolving the case at the earliest possible juncture."

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!