March 9, 2017 State Attorney fires prosecutor accused of illegal drug purchases



State Attorney Phil Archer has issued the following statement.


On Wednesday March 8, at 6:30 p.m., John Toppa III, 29, Melbourne was arrested by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit after he allegedly purchased Roxicodone pills valued at $200 during an undercover operation. Prior to his arrest, Toppa served as an assistant state attorney.


Officers recovered additional suspected drugs from Toppa’s vehicle.


After his arrest, Toppa’s employment with the office was terminated as of 8 a.m. today, Archer said.


“Our office is fully cooperating with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in the continuing investigation into these allegations including an immediate internal audit of all criminal cases assigned to Toppa,” said Archer.In addition, Archer has requested Governor Scott appoint another State Attorney to handle the prosecution of this case.


“As we have seen in countless cases, the pill epidemic affects all families and all professions.However, as public servants sworn to uphold the rule of law, every member of my office has a responsibility to perform their duties with honesty and integrity. By taking the oath of office, assistant state attorneys are trusted to faithfully represent the values of this office. When that trust is violated there must be an immediate and transparent effort to fully identify the wrong doing, hold those responsible to account, and restore the trust and confidence of the public,” Archer said.


Toppa was assigned to a felony trial division and was hired in 2013.


Because of the nature of the ongoing investigation and request for the appointment of another State Attorney, Archer cautioned that his office will not be able to discuss the case in detail and referred future questions to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.



Attached, please find the letter of termination and the arrest report.

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