Meth trafficker sentenced to 20 years

A man found guilty of trafficking in nearly 200 grams of methamphetamine has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

Jesse I. Lambert, also known as “Mr. Miyagi,” 40, of Panama City, was found guilty of Trafficking in Amphetamines (more than 28 grams.) Circuit Court Judge Brantley Clark adjudicated the defendant guilty and ordered the 20-year sentence. Under Florida’s enhanced penalties for drug trafficking, the sentence includes a minimum-mandatory 7-years.

The 6-person jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Thursday after Prosecutor Frank Sullivan presented 2 witnesses and evidence proving the defendant was in possession of baggies containing a total of about 170 grams of methamphetamine on July 7, 2023.

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Bay County Sheriff’s Office Inv. Dwight Cummings testified he and other members of the department’s Special Investigation Division were present July 7, 2023, when the defendant was stopped for a traffic infraction in the 3400 block of State 77.

Cummings’ narcotic detection K-9 “Fila” alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. In the ensuing search, investigators found more than a half-dozen baggies containing a total of about 173 grams of methamphetamine.

The defendant had been released from prison less than three months earlier after serving a 4-year sentence for Trafficking in Amphetamines (between 14-28 grams).

Basford thanked the Bay County Sheriff’s Office for its work on the case and the Special Investigations Division for apprehending the defendant before the drugs could be sold on the street.

For more information, contact Mike Cazalas at, or call 850-381-7454.