Citizen complaint leads to guilty verdict for drug possession

A Bay County jury deliberated less than 10 minutes Wednesday before finding a man guilty of Possession of Cocaine, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

Gerald Lishun Gary, 50, of Panama City, was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Circuit Court Judge Brantley Clark.

Gerald Gary

Prosecutor Morgan McAfee said Gary was released from prison on another drug charge 3 months before committing this offense.

McAfee called three witnesses: the citizen who called police, Panama City Police Officer Ryan Michael, who made the arrest, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement analyst  Julie Nelson, who identified the cocaine.

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The witnesses and evidence presented at trial showed that a concerned citizen called Panama City police Dec. 1, 2023, to report a suspicious person wandering through yards in the area.

Officer Michael found the defendant on someone else’s property by a vacant home. A probable cause search led to the cocaine being found in the defendant’s possession.

McAfee said the defendant told police that he could not tell them who gave him the cocaine, but that it was for personal use.

Basford thanked the Panama City Police Department for its prompt response to the citizen’s complaint and subsequent arrest.

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