Man accused of dealing drugs to kids gets new trial date
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
COLUMBIANA – A 31-year-old Montevallo man who has been accused of attempting to sell synthetic marijuana to local high school students is set to stand trial on his charges in mid-August, after his June trial date was continued in Shelby County Circuit Court.
Derrick Demetrius Reed, who lists an address on Shelby County 223 in Montevallo, will stand trial on five charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, one count of trafficking synthetic marijuana, one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, one count of first-degree possession of marijuana and one count of illegal possession of a firearm beginning on Monday, Aug. 13.
His original trial date was set for Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, and was later continued until June. However, because the case was not reached during the June 11 trial week, it is now scheduled to begin in August.
Reed has been held in the Shelby County Jail since he was arrested in March 2016 by the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force and charged with the multitude of charges.
A Shelby County grand jury indicted Reed on the charges in October 2016, and Reed has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
He has remained in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $270,000 since he was arrested by the Task Force on March 11, 2016. When Reed was arrested then, he had only been out of jail for two weeks after posting bond for multiple other drug distribution charges.
Task Force Commander Lt. Clay Hammac previously said deputies arrested Reed in Montevallo while the suspect allegedly was conducting an active drug deal.
During the arrest, deputies found Reed to be in possession of more than 500 grams of synthetic marijuana packaged for sale and two illegal firearms, Hammac said. The Task Force estimated the street value of the synthetic marijuana recovered in the arrest was about $31,000.
Hammac said the synthetic marijuana, which can lead to seizures, unconsciousness and even death, was intended for distribution in Montevallo High School, Pelham High School, Calera High School, Thompson High School and Helena High School.
Trafficking synthetic marijuana is a Class A felony, and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment upon conviction.
In late September, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office also brought a felony promoting prison contraband charge against Reed after he allegedly was found to be in possession of suboxone in the jail in January.