Eight People Indicted and Arrested in Marshall County Meth Conspiracy
BIRMINGHAM – Eight people have been arrested in Marshall County on illegal methamphetamine distribution charges resulting from a federal indictment returned in December, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley.
The indictment, unsealed following the arrests of several defendants last week, charges DON MITCHELL WILBORN, JOHN CALTON ELLER, CHRISTOPHER DAVID ALLEN, KRISTIE GRETCHEN GAUNTT, ANGELA NICOLE OTINGER, JEFFREY WAYNE BAUGH, EFREN RAMIREZ CALDERON, and CARLOS TABERA GONZALEZ with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; distribution and possession of methamphetamine; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
WILBORN, 38, ALLEN, 38, OTINGER, 41, BAUGH, 42, and GONZALEZ, 37, all of Albertville; ELLER, 42, and CALDERON, 34, both of Boaz; and GAUNTT, 36, of Guntersville, face 11 counts in the indictment.
Count 1 charges that Wilborn, Eller, Allen Gauntt, Otinger, Baugh, Calderon and Gonzalez conspired together to distribute methamphetamine. Counts 2, 4 through 7 and 9 charge the following individuals with distribution of methamphetamine: Eller, Allen and Calderon (Count 2); Wilborn (Counts 4, 5, and 8); Wilborn and Gauntt (Counts 6 and 7). Charges for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine are pending against: Baugh (Count 3); Gonzalez (Count 9); Gonzalez and Calderon (Count 10). Gonzalez and Calderon are also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (Count 11). Calderon and Gonzalez are separately charged with being illegal aliens in possession of a firearm (Counts 12 and 13).
These charges carry a range of prison time up to life and a $10 million fine. Some of the charges also carry mandatory minimum sentences of five and 10 years.
“Methamphetamine is a plague on the Northern District of Alabama. The detrimental effects of this drug are far reaching, even beyond those who use it and sell it. It affects their families and the community at large. The United States will work diligently to prosecute those who engage in this illegal narcotics business,” Vance said.
Special Agents of the FBI, Albertville Police Department, and FBI North Alabama Safe Streets Task Force, including Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and Drug Enforcement Unit, and the Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit investigated this case. Guntersville Police Department assisted in making arrests in the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura D. Hodge is prosecuting the case.
Members of the public are reminded that the 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.
If you believe your organization has expertise or resources that could improve outcomes for ex-offenders re-entering society, please e-mail our Community Outreach Coordinator at Jeremy.Sherer@usdoj.gov
or call 205-244-2019.