Semmes Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Possessing a Machinegun in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking
MOBILE, AL – An Evergreen man was sentenced today to three years of probation for threatening to injure an Evergreen police officer during a live radio broadcast.
According to court documents and evidence introduced at his trial, Luther James Upton, 74, threatened to injure the victim officer on May 18, 2021, during his morning radio show on 101.1 FM WPPG – The Power Pig. The jury heard evidence that Upton, then an elected Evergreen city councilman, was arrested by the victim officer in November 2020 for driving under the influence of alcohol and getting into a vehicular accident. Video of the DUI incident showed Upton attempting to use his position on the city council to pressure the victim officer not to arrest him. On the morning of the radio broadcast at issue, Upton referenced prior incidents involving the victim officer and said on the radio, among other things, “I dare him to stop me again. ‘Cuz when he pulls me over, I’m gonna put him down.” At his guilty plea hearing following one day of trial, Upton admitted that he meant to convey a true threat to injure the victim officer.
United States District Judge Kristi K. DuBose ordered Upton to undergo mental health and substance abuse treatment while on probation. The court also ordered Upton to pay $100 in special assessments.
U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu and Justin Roller prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.