Space Coast prosecutor fired after drug arrest

- A prosecutor along Florida's Space Coast has been fired after deputies arrested him on drug charges.

State Attorney Phil Archer's office announced that assistant state attorney John Michael Toppa III was fired Thursday morning.

The arrest came a day after the 29-year-old Toppa was arrested for purchasing $200 worth of pills of Roxicodone, a pain reliever.  A police report says Toppa made the purchase in the parking lot of a Lowe's store in Rockledge.

"We were involved in an undercover drug operation. At some point, a transaction was set up between this person and our 'undercovers,'" explained Tod Goodyear with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.  "He came to that location and purchased 10 Roxicodone tablets. Upon his arrest, we discovered he's an assistant state attorney."

He is charged with five counts of possessing a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Archer is asking the governor to appoint an outside prosecutor to handle the case.

Toppa was hired in 2013.  Online court records showed no attorney listed for Toppa.

"It just kind of goes to show that, no matter what your role in life is -- whether you're a prosecutor or a police officer or a doctor or a person that's homeless -- addiction can creep into your life and take it over," Goodyear added.

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