Leeds man arrested for trafficking fentanyl

Published 12:20 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2023

By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

VANDIVER – Career criminal and Leeds resident Christopher Robert McGinnis, 35, was arrested on Saturday, Nov. 25 and charged with trafficking fentanyl.

Court records indicate that McGinnis has been arrested  many times over the past decade, with his first criminal offense occurring in 2009 when he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, having given an officer a false name. Over the years McGinnis has gone on to be arrested for a variety of crimes including first-degree robbery, drug possession and numerous probation violations.

McGinnis was arrested while on Highway 45 in Vandiver and was purportedly found to have 2.4 grams of fentanyl in his possession. 

Back in April, Gov. Ivey and the Alabama State Senate approved harsher penalties for the possession of fentanyl in the state. These new mandatory penalties are intended to curb the increasingly high number of deaths by fentanyl overdose that is sweeping across Alabama. 

“Combatting this deadly drug will continue to be a top priority for our Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and I will do everything in my power to stop this drug from being a killer in Alabama,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement back in April.

The new mandatory penalties for fentanyl possession are as follows:

-Three years in prison for the possession of one to two grams of fentanyl.

-Ten years in prison for amounts between two grams and four grams.

-Twenty-five years in prison for amounts between four grams and eight grams.

-Life imprisonment with the possibility of parole for amounts of eight grams or more.

After being arrested for trafficking fentanyl, McGinnis was taken to Shelby County Jail where he is currently being held on a bond of $250,000. A court date for his case has yet to be set.