Traffic stop leads to cocaine trafficking charge

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A 37-year-old Alabaster man is facing up to life in prison after he was arrested on April 23 and charged with allegedly trafficking cocaine in late 2014.

Cunningham

Cunningham

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force charged Jeffery Demonte Cunningham, who lists an address on Seventh Avenue Southeast, with felony counts of trafficking cocaine, unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance after he was taken into custody in Jefferson County and transferred to the Shelby County Jail.

Trafficking cocaine is a Class A felony, and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison upon conviction. Unlawful distribution of a controlled substance is a Class B felony, and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison upon conviction.

Unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class C felony, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years upon conviction.

Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force Commander Capt. Kevin Turner said Cunningham’s arrest came after a Nov. 12, 2014, traffic stop, during which a deputy allegedly discovered a controlled substance in the suspect’s vehicle.

“We sent it off to forensics, and it came back positive for cocaine,” Turner said during an April 23 phone interview.

According to Cunningham’s arrest warrants, he allegedly was in possession of 40.7 grams of cocaine during the 2014 traffic stop. Court documents also allege he distributed cocaine on Oct. 23, 2014, on Seventh Avenue Southeast in Alabaster.

As of April 23, Cunningham was being held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $120,000.