Lowndes S.O. participates in federal-state-local investigation resulting in sentence of 15 on drug conspiracy charges

Published 6:21 pm Thursday, June 16, 2016

Special to the Signal

Attorney General Luther Strange announced on Thursday, June 16 the resolution and final sentencing of 15 defendants who were indicted in August 2015 on state drug conspiracy charges in a major joint investigation by state, federal and local law enforcement including the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

These charges stem from an extensive multi-agency five-month investigation into a drug trafficking network in Montgomery.

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Evidence was gathered through wiretaps and surveillance from February to June of 2015, resulting in state and federal charges that showed how these individuals made a concerted effort to bring in cocaine and sell it to others.

The 15 state defendants pleaded guilty to charges stemming from their involvement in the conspiracy to sell and distribute cocaine in Montgomery County. Most defendants agreed to cooperate and testify against the other members of the conspiracy as part of their plea agreements. These plea agreements successfully concluded the state prosecutions and enabled federal prosecutors to successfully prosecute the federal cases connected to the conspiracy as well.

“I am grateful for the hard work of the cooperating agencies that made it possible to shut down this entire drug trafficking organization in Montgomery County,” said Attorney General Strange. “The citizens of Montgomery County and all of Alabama are safer with this organization dismantled. The work on this joint investigation and prosecution is an excellent example of how law enforcement from all levels of government can work together and make our community safer from the scourge of illegal drugs.  I hope that this is a pattern of cooperation that will continue in the months and years to come so that the citizens of Alabama can benefit from the exemplary work of the state and federal prosecutors and cooperating law enforcement agencies.”

Attorney General Strange commended his Criminal Trials Division, noting in particular Assistant Attorney General John Kachelman III, Special Agents of his Investigations Division, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office which assisted with the state prosecutions, and all the agencies involved in this cooperative effort.

The agencies involved in this operation were the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Fusion Center, the Montgomery Police Department, the Prattville Police Department, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District. The operation was conducted under the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, or HITDA, which is administered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. HIDTA is designed to foster cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in sharing information of illegal drug activity and coordinating enforcement of anti-drug laws.

The following 15 defendants have been convicted and sentenced:

  • Monroe Bailey, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Distribute Cocaine, 15 years;
  • Wilbert Aaron Brooks, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Distribute Cocaine, 10 years split* to serve 3 years;
  • Tyrone Demond Foxall, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Possess Cocaine, 104 months split to serve 27 months;
  • Richard Lashalazaar Gibson, Conspiracy to Traffick Cocaine, 20 years with reverse split** to serve 3 years with 5 years of probation first;

 

  • Reginald Bernard James, Conspiracy to Traffick Cocaine, 15 years with reverse split to serve 3 years with five years of probation first;
  • Craig Edward Johnson, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Distribute Cocaine, 20 years split to serve 5 years;
  • Antonio Lydell Lewis, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Distribute Cocaine, 20 years split to serve 3 years;
  • Samuel Darell Patterson, Conspiracy to Traffick Cocaine, 15 years with reverse split to serve 3 years with 5 years of probation first;

. Harry Peoples, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Distribute Cocaine, 20 years split to serve 5 years;

  • Patrick Perry III, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Distribute Cocaine, 10 years split to serve 3 years;
  • Courtland Lenard Reeves, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Possess Cocaine, 15 years split to serve 3 years;
  • Stacy Audrice Toney, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Distribute Cocaine, 20 years split to serve 3 years;
  • Vashun Lavon Traywick, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Possess Cocaine, 15 years with reverse split to serve 3 years with 3 years of probation first;
  • Darron Lamar Wright, Conspiracy to Traffick Cocaine, 15 years with reverse split to serve 3 years with 3 years of probation first;
  • and Shaffer Larvel Wright, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Distribute Cocaine, 15 years split to serve 2 years of probation.

*In a split sentence, a defendant is sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment, which is suspended to serve a lesser amount of time. **In a reverse split sentence, the lesser amount of time is not served if the defendant first successfully completes a period of probation.