Trial ordered for man charged with trafficking cocaine at McDonald’s
Published 3:00 pm Monday, December 21, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County Circuit Court Judge has ordered a jury trial for a 38-year-old Alabaster man who is facing charges alleging he trafficked cocaine in the parking lot of an Alabaster fast food restaurant.
In November, Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves ordered charges against Jeffery Demonte Cunningham to be placed on the court’s trial cycle at the next available opportunity.
As of Dec. 21, no future court dates had been set for Cunningham, who lists an address on Seventh Avenue Southeast in Alabaster.
In June, a Shelby County grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Cunningham, charging him with felony counts of trafficking cocaine, unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.
At the time of Cunningham’s arrest, then-Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force Commander Kevin Turner 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 has entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to all charges pending against him.
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.