Drug Appeal for Former Area Elected Official Is Denied

Florida’s First District Court of Appeals has rejected an appeal of the case of the former Clerk of Court in Gulf County.

Sixty-year-old Jerry Gates was appealing his 2004 drug conviction and sentencing. Gulf County sheriff’s deputies had arrested Gates in his Wewahitchka home in January of 2003.

They found over 170 grams of marijuana and some drug paraphernalia at the time.

It took a Port St. Joe jury only 10 minutes to convict him. Presiding Judge Judy Pittman sentenced Gates to a year on the drug offender community control program, followed by three years probation, regular drug testing, a curfew and $1,100 in fines and court costs.

The appeals court rejected Gates’ motion for appeal without comment.