Montgomery, Alabama – Today, Acting United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross announced developments in multiple Project Safe Neighborhood cases arising out of Tallapoosa County. The Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) played a pivotal role in the investigation of these cases.
Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
In the first highlighted case, Alan Lyrenski Sandlin, 23, of Alexander City, Alabama, pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a machine gun in federal court. According to the plea agreement and other court records, in April 2023, law enforcement agents conducting a narcotics investigation arrested Sandlin at his residence. When searching the house, agents found a machine gun conversion device installed on a handgun. Machine gun conversion devices allow a firearm to operate as a fully automatic weapon, firing up to 20 rounds per second. These devices have grown in popularity over the past few years and pose a significant threat to communities. Sandlin entered his guilty plea on October 30, 2023. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 20, 2024. At that hearing, Sandlin will face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
Additionally, on November 7, 2023, a federal judge sentenced 42-year-old Jeremy Glenn Dye, from Alexander City, Alabama, to 130 months in prison for possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony offense and for possessing a stolen firearm.
Lastly, three Tallapoosa County residents were recently charged with federal firearm offenses. On November 1, 2023, a grand jury indicted Vincent Darrell Bias, 54, of Alexander City, Alabama, for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Law enforcement arrested Bias on November 15, 2023. Previously, in June 2023, the same grand jury indicted 44-year-old Jeffery Monkentee Hill and 33-year-old Carstavious Shadon Stovall, both from Camp Hill, Alabama, on charges of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a controlled substance crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force and the ATF investigated these cases, with assistance from the Alexander City Police Department, the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshals Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Brandon W. Bates and Eric M. Counts are prosecuting the cases.