Suspects found guilty in 2004 drug sting

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 10, 2006

The Seventeenth Circuit’s criminal term of court, which ended Wednesday, resulted in several guilty pleas for violent offenders.

It also saw the finishing touches placed on an undercover drug operation by the Marengo County Sheriff’s Department. In 2004, the department conducted an undercover sting, which covered the entire county. During the most recent term of court, two of the drug dealers were given extensive sentences.

Adrian Brown, who was arrested as part of the sting, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 20

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Brown was charged in three separate unlawful distribution cases and originally entered a plea of not guilty. Wednesday morning, he changed his mind.

Brown was arrested, Griggers said, after he sold drugs to an undercover agent August 19, 2004 at a local apartment complex.

“The drug sales took place at Linden Villas in Linden,” Griggers said. “That is where he was living. He was a three-time convicted felon and all three were drug- related offenses.”

Brown was distributing powder cocaine and marijuana at the time of his arrest.

Another target in the sting, Tyrone Monghan, also pled guilty to unlawful distribution of cocaine. Monghan was given seven years in the penitentiary.

Two armed robbery cases and a burglary also led to prison sentences for the responsible parties.

Jeffrey Shepherd was given 20 years for robbing The Athletes Foot shoe store in 2003.

Jerry Blakes pled guilty to armed robbery for his role in the May 17 robbery of the ABC store. Blakes was sentenced to 20 years. Blakes also originally entered a plea of not guilty, but reversed his plea the morning of the trial.

Kevin Smith, another Demopolis native, pled guilty to his role in burglarizing the Demopolis Yacht Basin office. Smith received a 15-year sentence. He pled guilty to burglary and forgery.

Getting the cases to trial in a timely fashion, Griggers said, was huge.

“I am very pleased that we are in good enough shape docket-wise to be able to get our violent offenders to trial that quickly,” Griggers said. “The average time to get violent offenses to trial has been about nine months.”

The only case that took longer than expected, he said, was the Shepherd case. This was merely a case of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences processing evidence, Griggers said.

“We were waiting for evidence from a skull cap he was wearing to match with some DNA,” Griggers said.

The next criminal term of court for Marengo County is set for May 8-12.