Federal Grand Jury Charges Twenty One in Violent Anniston/Oxford Drug Trafficking Ring
JUN 17 -- ANNISTON, AL – A four-year undercover investigation conducted in the Anniston/Oxford area has resulted in the unsealing of a twenty-four count indictment, and six related multi-count indictments filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama.
The twenty-four count indictment charges the following individuals with conspiring from November 2005 to May 2008 to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, “crack” cocaine; firearms offenses, and other federal crimes:
MAURICE LOUIS KIRBY, 34, of Anniston;
Some defendants also face the charge of using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime. This indictment was returned under seal by a federal grand jury in May of 2008, and was unsealed on Friday, June 13, 2008.
Additionally, six separate indictments arising out of the same investigation were unsealed on Friday June 13, 2008, bringing the total number of individuals charged with federal offenses in the Anniston/Oxford area to twenty one. The individuals named in the separate indictments are:
CHARLES HOBDY, 34, of Anniston;
These individuals have been charged with various federal drug trafficking and firearms offenses.
All of the individuals named above have been arrested and made their initial court appearances on Friday, June 13, 2008. Seventeen of these defendants are scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate judge for detention hearings this week. The names of two other individuals charged are being withheld pending service of warrants.
Gregory Borland, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for the State of Alabama stated, “The successful conclusion of this investigation illustrates the value of cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies became aware of this organization and the staggering increases in violent crime associated with it as a direct result of complaints by citizens regarding suspected drug activity. Hearing these concerns, District Attorney Hubbard, the Calhoun County Drug Task Force and the Anniston Police Department sought the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorneys Office to dismantle this extremely violent drug trafficking organization, which has been responsible for several drug-related murders in Calhoun County. The respective agencies combined resources and intelligence to successfully dismantle the group. We in law enforcement now ask the citizens of Calhoun County to be vigilant against new criminal organizations that would attempt to fill the void caused by these arrests. By reporting suspected drug and other criminal activity to the police and Drug Task Force, the public can prevent another group of violent thugs from becoming so bold that they hold the community hostage.”
“Last Friday the 13th was an unlucky day for these charged drug dealers and a significant, turning point for local narcotics enforcement,” stated U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin. “The citizens have shown by their support that they will not tolerate their communities being overrun with drugs, weapons and violent crimes. Everyone should have the right to live in a safe, drug-free community.”
“The successful result of this operation is another prime example of a continuing spirit of cooperation between state, local and federal law enforcement authorities. Each agency brings with it certain unique resources that, while useful as tools in enforcing laws relating to violent drug offenders, are strengthened to their ultimate effectiveness when combined with those of other agencies. During the tedious investigation stages of this operation the boundaries of local and federal jurisdictions were put aside in order that multiple violent drug offenders--who have never been concerned about where they practice their insidious trade—could be arrested. These agencies and the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama should be applauded for their unselfish efforts to track down and prosecute these offenders,” stated Joseph Hubbard, Calhoun County District Attorney.
Lieutenant Richard Smith, Commander of the Calhoun County Drug Task Force said, “A recent culmination of an ongoing investigation has resulted in tremendous results for the Calhoun Cleburne County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force (CCDTF). The Task Force initiated and led an investigation into a violent drug trafficking organization, which operated throughout Calhoun County and preyed on the citizens of our area by distributing large amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana. It has inspired fear in our community by using violence to intimidate members of the community from reporting known activities. This intimidation was not as effective as the members of the organization believed. Agents used information provided by brave citizens of the community to infiltrate and target the organization. The CCDTF, after attempting to dismantle the organization using all of its available resources, called upon our established partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorney’s Office. This partnership brought to bear resources and capabilities that would have otherwise been unavailable to officers on the local and state level.” Smith further stated, “We believe with continued support and assistance from the community that we will make this community a safer place for our children to live.”
The defendants charged in the main drug trafficking conspiracy face sentences of not less than 10 years and up to life imprisonment. In addition, defendants face possible fines up to $4,000,000. Each charge additionally carries a term of supervised release to be served after completion of a prison term.
Other defendants charged with other drug trafficking charges are facing sentences of not less than 5 years and up to 40 years imprisonment. In addition, the defendants face possible fines up to $2,000,000. Each charge additionally carries a term of supervised release to be served after completion of a prison term.
Defendants charged with possessing firearms in connection with drug trafficking offenses face sentences of not less than 5 years and up to life imprisonment. In addition, the defendants face possible fines up to $250,000. Each charge additionally carries a term of supervised release to be served after completion of a prison term.
Defendants charged with possessing firearms after having been convicted of a felony offense are facing sentences of up to 10 years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000. Each charge additionally carries a term of supervised release to be served after completion of a prison term.
Defendants charged with possessing unregistered firearms are subject to sentences of up to 10 years imprisonment and possible fines up to $10,000. Each charge additionally carries a term of supervised release to be served after completion of a prison term. Additionally, the government is seeking forfeiture of eight pieces of real property in Calhoun County.
Additionally, the following individuals were charged in State Court with Possession and/or Distribution of Crack Cocaine:
GLORIA MIMMS, 52, of Anniston;
Numerous law enforcement agencies participated in this Drug Enforcement Administration lead multi-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation including the: Calhoun County Drug Task Force, Anniston Police Department, Oxford Police Department, Alabama Bureau of Investigation, Heflin Police Department, Alabaster Police Department, Montevallo Police Department, Tuscaloosa County Sheriffs Office, Birmingham Police Department, Morris Police Department, Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Board and the Alabama National Guard. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the United States Marshals Service (USMS) assisted in the arrests of these defendants. OCDETF Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph P. Montminy and Enid E. Dean are prosecuting the case on behalf of the U.S. Government.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.