Uber driver accused of trying to sell narcotics to deputies during vice convention

John Robert Alcott

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. — An Uber driver in the Florida Panhandle is accused of trying to sell hallucinogens to undercover narcotics agents during a vice conference last summer, authorities said.

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According to a news release from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, John Robert Alcott, 52, of Crestview, was arrested on Feb. 21. He was charged with two counts of selling a hallucinogen (mushrooms and LSD), trafficking in LSD, possession of a hallucinogen with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, and two counts of using a two-way communication device in the commission of a felony.

According to the sheriff’s office, in August 2023, Walton County hosted the Florida Narcotics Officers’ Association’s annual conference in the Panhandle city of Miramar Beach.

Visiting deputies from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office requested an Uber to take them to dinner, WJHG-TV reported. Deputies said that Alcott allegedly smelled of marijuana, and the suspect told them that he had Psilocybin mushrooms for sale, according to the television station. Alcott allegedly opened the glove compartment of his vehicle to show the deputies a large bag of mushrooms.

The Citrus County deputies reported the conversation to Walton County officials, WMBB-TV reported.

According to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Citrus County investigators also attending the conference developed a plan to conduct an undercover purchase from Alcott the next day.

According to the news release, Alcott allegedly sold the investigators 134 grams of Psilocybin mushrooms, 10 Psilocybin mushroom capsules, and 12 doses of LSD for $1,000. During the purchase, Alcott allegedly told detectives he would also be willing to mail them a supply of the narcotics.

Law enforcement officials from Citrus County remained in contact with Alcott over the next six months, WJHG reported. In February, investigators contacted Alcott and told him they were returning to Miramar Beach and wanted to make another purchase, according to the television station.

On Feb. 21, detectives contacted Alcott and set up a purchase of more than a quarter pound of mushrooms and 200 doses of LSD for $5,000, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said.

Alcott left his home in Crestview and headed toward Miramar Beach. Walton County deputies conducted a traffic stop and arrested the suspect, WMBB reported.

A search of the vehicle revealed the mushrooms and LSD that Alcott was allegedly preparing to sell.

“While these types of cases aren’t the primary focus of our VICE/Narcotics investigations, this one kind of came to us,” Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson said in a statement. “He obviously makes it a habit to sell while driving an Uber and that’s pretty alarming considering how teenagers and young adults frequently use driving services in the area.”

Alcott’s bail was set at $15,000, online booking records show. He was released on Feb. 22.