Jacksonville, FL

Man arrested for drug deals at Orange Park Mall, Home Depot parking lots, deputies say

Zoey Fields

A Jacksonville man is facing two separate charges for the selling and dealing of methamphetamine. Additionally, he is awaiting trial for an August 2020 vehicle burglary.

Malik Warthen, 43, of West 18th St., Jacksonville, also known as “Ghost,” was arrested July 7 at approximately 2:26 p.m. after a narcotics transaction with a Clay County Sheriff’s Office confidential informant.

According to the police report, Warthen and the confidential informant agreed to meet at Home Depot, 1575 Branan Field Road in Middleburg. The transaction was for 56.80 grams of methamphetamine.

When Warthen confirmed he had arrived at the business, he was taken into custody without incident. The substance was field tested and yielded a positive result for methamphetamine. Upon his arrest, Warthen declined to speak about his involvement in this or any other incidents, the report said.

Warthen’s arrest at Home Depot follows an additional drug transaction that occurred on June 21 at the Orange Park Mall when a confidential source working with Clay County Sheriff’s Office made a controlled purchase of 30.10 grams of methamphetamine from Warthen.

Clay County Sheriff's Office arrested Warthen, July 7, on two counts of dealing methamphetamine.Douglas Sacha, via Getty Images

The incident occurred at approximately 2:13 p.m. in the remote area of the parking lot of the Orange Park Mall food court area, the police report said. The confidential source waited outside the food court area for Warthen. Upon arrival, the source got into Warthen’s vehicle, had a brief conversation about the transaction, gave Warthen money for the substance and was dropped back off outside the food court.

As Warthen drove away, the confidential source entered the food court area of the mall and turned the substance over to Clay County Sheriff's personnel. The confidential source was checked before and after the interaction with Warthen for controlled substances not purchased during this transaction; none were found, the report said.

The 30.10 grams of the clear, crystal substance was field tested and yielded a positive result for methamphetamine. These charges are being dealt with in tandem with Warthen’s July arrest.

These drug charges come almost two years after Warthen was arrested in reference to an Aug. 22, 2020, vehicle burglary in Green Cove Springs. A trial date has not yet been determined.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim of the vehicle burglary identified the suspect as Warthen after watching a black male quickly run away from the vehicle. He was described to be wearing a white “boat style” hat, a pair of white or light khaki shorts, and a “white, maybe orange-colored, button-down shirt.” The victim stated Warthen looked back several times, allowing her to identify him as someone she knew from her past.

After Warthen fled the scene, the victim observed a broken window on the driver’s side of the gray, four-door Acura sedan. Additionally, a Florida driver’s license, Wells Fargo debit card and $150 in tens and twenties were missing from the vehicle.

When questioned about the burglary, Warthen told officers he lent his vehicle, a gray, 2010 Nissan Altima to a friend on the night of the burglary. The friend was alone in borrowing the car that was pictured at the scene of the burglary, Warthen said.

Warthen’s friend denies ever borrowing the vehicle, as Warthen is not known to lend his car out, he told officers. He also stated that he does not know the victim and denied any knowledge of the vehicle being broken into.

Warthen was arrested for the incident and paid bail. He is charged with two level-one felonies for the dealing of methamphetamine, two level-three felonies for the use of a two-way device to commit a crime, a level-three felony for the vehicle burglary and two misdemeanors for the theft of property from the vehicle. Warthen awaits trial for both cases.

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Accredited journalist with experience covering a wide range of stories consisting of breaking news, city and county government, crime and courts, feature stories and local interest. Facebook Bulletin writer, reporter; The Learning Curve. Twitter: @zoeyfields0

Jacksonville, FL

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