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Verbena drug trafficker gets life in prison


James Calvin Talley, Jr., age 37, of Verbena, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, using a phone to facilitate a drug crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin said that Talley’s conviction for distribution of methamphetamine carried a mandatory life sentence because he had two prior felony drug convictions. There is no parole in the federal system.

Evidence presented at trial showed that on December 3, 2016, a drug courier delivered more than 100 pounds of marijuana to Talley’s home in Verbena. When the courier arrived at Talley’s home, he got out of the car and Talley drove the car alone to another house in Marbury, Alabama. There, Talley backed the car up to the front door of the house and opened the trunk.

Law enforcement had knowledge of the drug delivery so followed Talley from his home to the house in Marbury. Talley ran into the house when law enforcement arrived but was arrested as he was running out of the backdoor. Inside the house, which belonged to co-defendant Richie Dale Murphy, law enforcement officers found two pistols, more than 3 pounds of methamphetamine, over $20,000 in cash, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia used for packaging and selling narcotics.

Following the search at Murphy’s house, law enforcement searched Talley’s home and found two more pistols, along with more than $50,000 in cash, a currency counter, drug ledgers and receipts for wire transfers of large amounts of money.

Murphy pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, testified at trial that he and Talley were in business together and that Talley used Murphy’s home as his stash house for marijuana and methamphetamine. Murphy is facing at least 15 years in prison for his charges. A date for his sentencing has not yet been set.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office, and the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office. the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the Millbrook Police Department, the Montgomery Police Department, and the Prattville Police Department all assisted with this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Geer and Kevin Davidson prosecuted the case.

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A number of TV shows and movies glamorize the drug dealing lifestyle, but in the real world, it comes with a great risk of violence and the potential to lose your freedom for a lifetime … as Mr. Talley will experience over the course of the remaining decades of his life.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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