Pasco man's appeal in Supreme Court

Published February 6, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - A wheelchair-bound man's appeal of a drug trafficking conviction should be rejected, the state argued in papers filed Monday with the Florida Supreme Court.

Richard Paey, now serving a 25-year prison sentence, says an appellate court misapplied the state's drug trafficking law when it upheld his conviction in December.

Lawyers for Attorney General Bill McCollum replied that Paey failed to allege sufficient grounds to warrant the Supreme Court's jurisdiction.

The law at issue classifies the possession of large amounts of controlled substances as trafficking regardless of them being sold or distributed.

A former lawyer and father of three, Paey injured his back in a 1985 car crash and has multiple sclerosis. He said only large doses of narcotics calm his pain.

The Pasco County man contends he was not part of any trafficking scheme and possessed the drugs strictly for medical use.