22-year prison sentence for Meth trafficker

A man who pleaded guilty to Trafficking in Methamphetamine after his jury was selected but before the trial started has been sentenced to 22 years in prison and fined $50,000, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

Joshua Causby, 40, of Panama City, was set for trial in September. But after a jury was selected, he entered an open plea to Trafficking in Methamphetamine. An open plea means the judge decides the sentence.

Joshua Causby

Prosecutor Nicole Reed sought and succeeded in having the defendant declared a Habitual Felony Offender. This means he faced an enhanced penalty based on previous convictions of Burglary of a Structure and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, and Burglary of a Dwelling. Reed noted the defendant was released from prison about a year before this charge.

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Circuit Court Judge Dustin Stephenson, who had ordered a Presentencing Investigation, on Tuesday sentenced Causby to 22 years in prison with a minimum-mandatory 3 years and assessed a $50,000 fine.

Reed was prepared to call witnesses and present evidence proving the defendant was arrested by Lynn Haven police, working with the Drug Enforcement Agency, in August, 2020, after selling an ounce of methamphetamine as part of an undercover operation. Evidence would have shown the defendant sold the methamphetamine from his truck and later that day was apprehended by Panama City Beach police during a traffic stop.

Basford thanked the Lynn Haven Police Department for its work in putting the case together along with the DEA.

For more information, contact Mike Cazalas at mike.cazalas@sa14.fl.gov.