Seven Suspected of Trafficking Marijuana and Cocaine Arrested

Seven suspected cocaine and marijuana traffickers were arrested early Thursday morning, announced United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr. These arrests follow an indictment by a federal grand jury charging the seven defendants with conspiracy to distribute narcotics, primarily in the Montgomery area.

The following individuals are in custody: Cyrus Phyfier, 49, Edgar Lee Coleston, 40, Erwin Marvin Smith, 57, Gene Earl Easterling, Jr., 46, and George Edward Jones, III, 40, all from Montgomery. As well as Ernest Lee Rhodes, 35, from Greenville, and Jacques Bradley, Jr., 34, from Ohio.

The federal investigation has led to the seizure of approximately $1,000,000 in U.S. currency and jewelry, as well as the seizure of firearms and controlled substances.

Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The defendants made their initial appearance in federal court on Thursday and will remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing.

The investigating agencies include the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Montgomery Police Department, the Prattville Police Department, the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, the Central Alabama Drug Task Force, the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office, the Millbrook Police Department, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the State of Alabama Attorney General’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Curtis Ivy, Jr., and R. Randolph “Rand” Neeley are prosecuting the case.

Categories: Montgomery, News