Pastor busted with drugs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 9, 2004

The arrest of a man caught with more than 50 bags of packaged marijuana helped police find another drug trafficker who apparently pastors a church in Hale County.

Late last week, Selma police officers, along with Dallas County Sheriff’s deputies and a drug task force, arrested Justus Allen Walker, 22, for drug possession and trafficking.

Lt. David Evans, who handles media requests for the Selma Police Department, could not give full details. However, he said police were able to use the arrest of Walker to find Kelvin Leon Cockrell, 36, of Sawyerville.

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Evans did confirm that Cockrell serves as the pastor of a church, believed to be Isabella Baptist Church. Cockrell also apparently had plans to open a horse business in Selma.

On Thursday, police first arrested Walker. After serving a search warrant on the suspect, police and deputies found 55 pre-packaged bags of marijuana along with $743 in cash and a set of scales at Walker’s home.

Later that day, law enforcement traveled to Perry County, where they served a warrant and arrested Cockrell. In that raid, law enforcement found approximately eight pounds of marijuana formed into two “bricks.”

“These aren’t the kind of bricks you build your house with either,” Evans said. “These were bigger than that.”

According to Evans, the drugs found with Cockrell had a street value of almost $7,000.

“A pound is usually worth about $900,” Evans said.

Along with the two bricks of marijuana, police also seized a 1993 Ford F-350 pickup truck that was believed to be used in the transportation of drugs.

According to Evans, Cockrell has been charged with first degree drug trafficking, which is a felony.