Community tip leads to bomb scare, gang arrests

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force recovered the following items during an April 21 bust in Alabaster. (Contributed)

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force recovered the following items during an April 21 bust in Alabaster. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A father and son are facing multiple felony charges after an anonymous community tip led law enforcement to find drugs, several illegal firearms and an active pipe bomb at an Alabaster residence on April 21.

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force arrested 43-year-old Jason Lanier Hall, who lists an address on Fourth Avenue Northeast in Alabaster, and 24-year-old Demarco Lanier Hall, who lists an address on Ninth Avenue in Calera, on April 21 and charged them with multiple felonies.

Jason Hall

Jason Hall

Jason Hall is facing felony counts of possession of a destructive device, first-degree receiving stolen property, possession of an illegal firearm, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, first-degree unlawful possession of marijuana and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Demarco Hall

Demarco Hall

Demarco Hall is facing felony counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, first-degree unlawful possession of marijuana, a probation violation and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Drug Enforcement Task Force Commander Lt. Clay Hammac called the arrests a “success story” for residents in the community anonymously reporting criminal activity.

“This is the result of hard work and diligence from those citizens,” Hammac said. “This is the result of the community taking a stand and saying ‘We’ve had enough. You’re not going to peddle drugs right here in front of our kids where they stand and wait for the school bus.’”

Task Force members responded to Jason Hall’s house the night of April 21 after receiving the anonymous tip, and made contact with the Halls. After realizing Demarco Hall was on probation for a previous felony domestic violence charge, Task Force members requested help from Office of Probation and Parole officers, and began a search of the suspect’s property.

During their search, officers allegedly discovered seven firearms Jason Hall was not allowed to have because of his criminal history, marijuana, heroin, prescription medication and cocaine. Officers also allegedly discovered materials linking the suspects with the “Gangster Disciples” street gang.

Of the seven firearms allegedly found in Jason Hall’s possession, four were stolen from Calera, Montevallo, Tuscaloosa and Madison County. The firearms charges have been turned over to the Birmingham office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Hammac said.

Also during their search, Hammac said officers discovered an active pipe bomb in a vehicle on the property, prompting the Task Force, the Alabaster Police Department and the Alabaster Fire Department to evacuate a 300-yard radius around the house while the Hoover Police Department’s bomb squad responded to the scene.

Hammac said the bomb squad safely detonated the bomb at the scene before allowing nearby residents to return to their homes.

As of April 25, Jason Hall was being held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling more than $2.5 million and Demarco Hall was being held on bonds totaling more than $1 million. Both suspects were given higher-than-normal bond amounts at the request of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

“The story here is that this was the result of an anonymous tip. You do not have to be afraid to talk to the police,” Hammac said. “We follow every tip we receive, and we protect those sources and witnesses.”