Convenience store owner pleads guilty to drug charges

Published 11:37 am Monday, June 13, 2016

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 60-year-old Hoover man will spend the next two years on probation after he pleaded guilty to distributing synthetic marijuana at his convenience store on U.S. 31 in Alabaster.



Ali Reza Samanifar, who lists an address on Pine Cliff Circle in Hoover, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance in a best-interest plea on June 8.

As a result of Samanifar’s guilty plea, Circuit Court Judge Lara Alvis originally sentenced Samanifar to five years in prison, which was split to two years on supervised probation.

Through a plea agreement with prosecutors, three charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance charges, a possession of drug paraphernalia charge and a possession of a controlled substance charge were dropped against Samanifar.

If Samanifar violates the conditions of his probation, his entire five-year prison sentence could be reinstated.

While on probation, Samaifar must take and pass random drug and alcohol screens, must complete a substance abuse treatment program and must surrender his driver’s license.

Samanifar was arrested on May 7, 2014, by the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force, along with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and Alcohol Beverage Control Board, and charged with three felony counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

The arrest came during the agencies’ Project Synergy Phase II, which was a national law enforcement effort targeting manufacturers and distributors of synthetic drugs.

A Shelby County grand jury indicted Samanifar on the charges during its January 2014 session. According to the indictment, the suspect sold synthetic marijuana at the A&S Convenience Store at 630 First St. S. in Alabaster on May 14, 21 and 23, 2013.