Grand jury: Man busted with cocaine in McDonald’s parking lot

Published 2:12 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2015

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 37-year-old Alabaster man is facing up to life in prison after he was recently indicted on three drug charges stemming from a pair of late 2014 incidents in Alabaster.



A Shelby County grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Jeffery Demonte Cunningham, who lists an address on Seventh Avenue Southeast in Alabaster, on June 25, charging him with felony counts of trafficking cocaine, unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

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 previously said Cunningham’s arrest came after a Nov. 12, 2014, traffic stop in the parking lot of the McDonald’s restaurant in Alabaster’s South Promenade shopping center, during which a deputy allegedly discovered a controlled substance in the suspect’s vehicle.

Turner said the substance was sent to forensic investigators, and tested positive for cocaine.

According to his arrest warrants and indictments, Cunningham allegedly was in possession of 40.7 grams of cocaine during the November 2014 traffic stop, which resulted in his cocaine trafficking charge. Cunningham’s possession of a controlled substance charge came after officers also allegedly discovered methadone in his vehicle during the traffic stop.

Court documents also allege he distributed cocaine on Oct. 23, 2014, on Seventh Avenue Southeast in Alabaster.

Cunningham was released from the Shelby County Jail on May 12 after posting bonds totaling $120,000. He is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Aug. 4 at 8:30 a.m.