Man gets prison time for distributing heroin in Alabaster
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – A 40-year-old Alabaster man will spend the next five years in prison after he pleaded guilty in March to distributing heroin in Alabaster.
Jeffery Demonte Cunningham, who previously listed an address on Seventh Avenue Southeast in Alabaster, pleaded guilty to one felony count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance during a March 5 hearing in front of Shelby County Circuit Court Judge William Bostick.
Bostick originally sentenced Cunningham to 20 years in the Alabama Penitentiary, but split the sentence to five years in prison followed by two years of supervised probation. If Cunningham violates the conditions of his probation, his entire 20-year sentence could be reinstated.
Cunningham also must complete a substance abuse education and treatment program, and must surrender his driver’s license.
The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force arrested Cunningham on March 7, 2016, and charged him with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and one count of possession of a controlled substance.
The March 2016 arrest came after Cunningham allegedly was found to be in possession of 14 individually wrapped bags of heroin intended for distribution, and was found to be in possession of a small amount of oxycodone and crack cocaine on the same day.
Cunningham was out of jail on bond while awaiting trial on several other drug charges when he was arrested in March 2016.
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.
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.
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