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Report: Florida fire captain involved in drug conspiracy with friend who accidentally shot, killed him

Jay Rind (inset) told police a gun accidentally fired while he was showing it to 48-year-old James Gilliard on Nov. 2. (Photos: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue)
Jay Rind (inset) told police a gun accidentally fired while he was showing it to 48-year-old James Gilliard on Nov. 2. (Photos: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue) (WPLG)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – A Florida fire-rescue captain who was fatally shot by a friend was involved in “an ongoing conspiracy” with him to buy and sell prescription drugs, according to prosecutors.

Jay Rind, 63, told investigators a gun accidentally fired on Nov. 2 while he was showing it to 48-year-old James Gilliard of Stuart. The two were in Rind’s townhome in Palm Beach Gardens and it was Rind who called police.

Rind was charged with third-degree felony murder. Rind told investigators that he accidentally shot his friend in the stomach while showing him the firearm and repeatedly explained that he didn’t know the gun was loaded.

The affidavit stated that the Nov. 2 meeting was a drug transaction that had been set up between the two in the middle of October via text messages, where the two discussed the gun that went off killing Gilliard. “I need a financial favor and I will throw in my S+W 9mm in the deal,” the text message read from Rind.

Prosecutors added charges of trafficking in morphine, conspiracy to sell oxycodone, conspiracy to sell amphetamines and conspiracy to sell morphine.

Investigators also found hundreds of text messages on Rind’s cell phone between the two, many dealing with “buying, selling or trading” of drugs, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also went on to say that there were drugs found in Gilliard’s truck the night of the shooting, which included Xanax, morphine, and oxycodone. At the time of his death, a toxicology report showed that Gilliard had amphetamines, Xanax, morphine and oxycodone in his system.


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