Just a few weeks ago, Alabama Gov. Robert Bently appointed the state’s Homeland Security Director, Spencer Collier, to the post of Secretary of Law Enforcement, under the newly-minted Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency, created under SB 108.
Now, in an unfortunate twist of irony, the son of this top law enforcement official is now facing four felony counts of distribution of a controlled substance.
Our Birmingham drug crime defense attorneys know that this is a Class B felony, meaning that each conviction would carry a minimum of 2 years in prison. If the individual at any point used a deadly weapon, the minimum sentence would be upped to 10 years, per Alabama Code 13A-12-211. A maximum sentence could be as high as 20 years behind bars.
The law holds that a person may be charged with this crime if he or she is suspected of selling, furnishing, giving away, delivering or distributing a controlled substance as classified in Schedules I through V.
In this case, the young man is accused of distributing Oxycodone, a prescription pain medication that is classified as a Schedule II narcotic. These class of substances, which also includes cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, Dexedrine, Ritalin and Adderall, are characterized by their high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
The 23-year-old suspect in this case was reportedly under investigation beginning several months ago, after local police in Mobile County received an anonymous tip that he was dealing Oxycodone. The investigation is still ongoing, and authorities said it’s possible more charges could be filed and more arrests may follow as well.
The defendant was released on $30,000 bond.
Although this individual’s case has garnered headlines for the simple fact of who his father is, the reality is that the scope of the prescription drug problem in Alabama is far from limited.
The National Institute of Health reports that an estimated 20 percent of people in the U.S. have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes at some time in the past. Among those substances most commonly abused are pain medications.
The local Montgomery ABC affiliate station recently reported that one out of four teenagers has admitted to misusing or abusing prescription drugs at least once. That’s a 33 percent increase over the course of five years.
Often, those who deal it have an addiction to it as well, making it a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break.
Perhaps part of the reason that ithas proliferated in Alabama the way it has is because people still seem to think that if it came from a doctor, it must be Ok. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that one-fifth of teens say their parent would not care as much if they were caught using a prescription drug, as opposed to an illicit substance.
The problem with this thinking is that law enforcement doesn’t see it that way, and the consequences for possession or distribution of prescription drugs is often jut as bad if not worse than for substances like heroin or cocaine.
Anyone who is arrested on drug distribution charges should immediately contact an experienced drug crime defense attorney.