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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 13, 2022

Baldwin County Man Sentenced to More Than Twelve Years for Methamphetamine Distribution

MOBILE, AL – A Baldwin County man was sentenced today to 151 months in prison for methamphetamine distribution.

In September of 2021, James Melvin Harbison, 55, pled guilty to a seven-count indictment charging him with specific instances of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine with no plea agreement with the United States.  Harbison contested the amount of methamphetamine for which he was accountable because such evidence drives the advisory guidelines that affect the sentence.  During the sentencing hearing today, conducted by United States District Court Judge Terry F. Moorer, the United States called five witnesses who testified about their involvement with and knowledge of Harbison’s drug distribution activities in Baldwin County over many years.  The witnesses testified consistently that Harbison was distributing between 2 to 4 ounces of methamphetamine per week.   Harbison testified on his own behalf during the hearing, claiming he was little more than a drug user.  At the conclusion of the testimony, the judge found the government witnesses credible and Harbison not credible, holding him accountable for 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine ice.
        
Judge Moorer imposed the sentence of 151 months imprisonment on each count, to run concurrently with each other.  Upon Harbison’s release, he will serve concurrent terms of supervised release term totaling 5 years.  Special conditions of his supervision include drug testing and treatment, mental health counseling and treatment, and a model search condition.  No fine was imposed, but the judge ordered that Harbison pay $700 in special assessments.
 
The case was investigated by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, the Baldwin County Drug Task Force and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Gloria Bedwell prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. 

 

Updated January 14, 2022