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Cocaine trafficker gets 7 years in plea deal

Julius Cheek

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Julius Cheek, 48, has agreed to a plea deal for 7 years, the minimum sentence in his case, and a fine of $100,000; according to the plea deal document, the maximum sentence for the charges is 265 years imprisonment and a fine of $310,000.

The case began on September 3, 2020, when a Gainesville Police Department (GPD) detective assigned to the Gainesville Alachua County Drug Task Force arranged for a Confidential Informant (CI) to purchase cocaine from Cheek. The purchase occurred at Cheek’s residence, which was measured as less than 1000 feet from the Cynthia Moore Chestnut Park and Clark Butler Nature Preserve. The CI purchased three “eight balls” (an “eight ball” is 3.5 grams of cocaine) from Cheek for $375.

A second purchase of five “eight balls” (about 19.6 grams of cocaine) was made for $625 on September 16, 2020.

On October 27, 2020, a narcotics search warrant was obtained for a storage unit, and the unit was searched on October 29. The detectives found approximately 428 grams of powdered cocaine, a safe containing $108,345 and a cell phone, an empty plastic jar and baggies with residue, and a cocaine press. Most of the currency was “tightly wrapped in colored rubber bands.”

After collecting the evidence, detectives followed Cheek as he left his residence, performed a traffic stop, and arrested him. In a post-Miranda interview, Cheek told detectives that his main business is dog breeding and that he had made about $7,000 since January 2020 from selling dogs. He said his wife earns most of their family’s income from her salon business. He said the family was not making “bookos” of money but “things are month to month.”

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When asked about whether he had a storage unit, Cheek said there was a unit in his daughter’s name. Detectives showed him pictures of the evidence they had seized and told him that unit was rented in his wife’s name. They asked Cheek if the unit was hers, and he said it wasn’t. When asked if the searched storage unit was his, he said, “Yes, it’s mine.” Cheek said he was storing the money and narcotics in the unit for other people.

Cheek posted bond of $25,000 on November 2 and was released. A warrant for Cheek’s arrest was issued on March 16, 2021, and Cheek was arrested again on April 1, 2021. He posted bail of $125,000 on April 2 and was released.

In the plea deal, Cheek pleaded guilty to two charges of selling cocaine within 1000 feet of a park, two counts of possessing a structure where drugs are sold, two counts of unlawful use of a two-way communication device, two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to sell within 1000 feet of a park, trafficking in cocaine, possessing a structure where drugs are trafficked or manufactured, and money laundering. The statutory maximum possible sentence for the charges is 265 years imprisonment and a fine of $310,000. The mandatory minimum penalty is seven years in the Department of Corrections, and that was the sentence agreed to in the plea deal. Cheek got credit for 2 days’ time served and agreed to pay $8,200 for the cost of the investigation and a $100,000 fine.

  • They should put more effort into investigating the continued rape of Gainesville residents by GRU and Gainesville commissioners.

  • Time to hold Assistant State Attorneys accountable. In this case, Becker, Michael Becker.

  • DEA finally nabs a local trafficker only to have Judge Kreider and ASA Becker work out a sweetheart deal.

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