Alabaster man to stand trial on crack, heroin charges
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
COLUMBIANA – A 40-year-old Alabaster man who has been indicted on charges claiming he distributed crack cocaine and attempted to distribute heroin in the city is set to stand trial in Shelby County Circuit Court in early 2018, according to court documents.
Jeffery Demonte Cunningham, who lists an address on Seventh Avenue Southeast in Alabaster, is facing charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance and driving with a revoked license.
Unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance are Class B felonies, and are punishable by up to 20 years in prison upon conviction.
Cunningham is set to stand trial on the charges beginning on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, according to a scheduling document filed on Dec. 18. He will appear in court for a plea date on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018.
According to his indictments, Cunningham allegedly possessed 14 individually wrapped bags of heroin on March 7, 2016, “with the intent to distribute” near the 600 block of First Street Southwest in Alabaster.
He also allegedly distributed crack cocaine on Feb. 19, 2016, in the 300 block of Seventh Avenue Southeast in Alabaster, leading to his unlawful distribution charge, according to his indictment.
Cunningham is now scheduled to appear in Shelby County Circuit Court at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2016, according to court records.
Cunningham’s most recent drug charges are the latest in his lengthy criminal history.
In June 2015, 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. Trafficking cocaine is a Class A felony, and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison upon conviction.
The 2015 charges stemmed from a 2014 incident in the parking lot of the Alabaster McDonald’s restaurant, during which a Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force deputy allegedly discovered cocaine in Cunningham’s vehicle.
Because Cunningham was out of jail on bond while awaiting trial on the 2015 charges when he was arrested on March 7, 2016, he has been held in the Shelby County Jail without bond since March.
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