TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A former Florida DEA agent faces up to 40 years in federal prison on drug-related charges, according to an announcement from the State Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

On Tuesday, officials announced that 37-year-old former DEA agent and Nassau County Sheriff’s Sergeant, James Hickox was charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

An investigation began after a “cooperating defendant” (CD) was arrested in August 2022. During a post-arrest interview, authorities said the CD alleged that Hickox and another officer stole seized drugs and cash and conspired to distribute controlled substances.

The CD alleged that he and another source were “allowed to keep a portion of narcotics and cash found during law enforcement searches,” court documents stated.

The CD also alleged Hickox and the other officer only documented the amounts of cocaine and cash that the police retained.

Authorities also learned that the CD and another source assisted Hickox and the other officer with controlled purchases of drugs, including cocaine.

“The CD alleged that he and the other source were typically allowed to keep approximately half of the cocaine they purchased,” documents added. “According to the CD, Hickox told the CD that as long as the seized dope was good, the felon could keep some drugs ‘off the top.'”

The CD told authorities they would then sell the cocaine on the streets for their own benefit and gave some of the profits to Hickox and the other officer.

Documents show the CD also alleged he and the other source were rewarded with some of the cash seized during law enforcement searches.

“Hickox gave money to the CD in this manner on at least seven occasions,” records state. “In addition, the CD noted that although the officers would give them cash following an operation, at a later point in time, the CD and the other source would give Hickox and the other officer a portion of that sum back, for their own payment.”

Following the interviews, authorities searched Hickox’s home where they found 168 grams of fentanyl, 17 grams of cocaine, three shoe boxes with approximately $100,000 in cash, a safe with $76,000 in cash, and three, 1 kg bricks of benzocaine.

Authorities also searched Hickox’s Nassau County Sheriff’s Office personnel office where they found 300-400 various-colored ecstasy tablets in the shape of miniature grenades.

According to the criminal complaint, Hickox possessed with intent to distribute cocaine, MDMA, and 40 grams or more of fentanyl. He has been employed with the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office for 17 years and served as a former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force Officer from March 2014 through September 2022.