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Headlines from Alabama 810 News
- Man sentenced in drug ring
- Three charged in tag scheme
- Page wants money for Goodyear
Man sentenced in drug ring
A member of a Cedartown Georgia drug ring who
“shot-up” the home of someone who owed money has been sentenced to
more than 18 years in prison. Claude Wayne Cole Jr. of Centre, Ala.,
was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Harold L. Murphy to serve the
minimum sentence for his part in a massive drug conspiracy that
federal authorities say distributed thousands of pounds of
methamphetamine in Northwest Georgia and Eastern Alabama between 2001
through 2004. Cole was designated as a minor participant in the gang
and given substantial credit for “truly and candidly” cooperating with
the government, according to judge Murphy.
However, firing a gun into a residence in
commission of a drug crime carries a mandatory 10-year sentence to be
served consecutively with other sentences.
Cole was sentenced to 10 years for that crime and
just more than eight years for his part in the conspiracy to traffic
Murphy significantly reduced Cole’s sentence as
his cooperation had not just brought others to justice but helped an
Alabama Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigation free
an innocent man from serious firearms charges.
Murphy added to the sentence the request that
Cole be sent to prison in Alabama so his family could visit him more
Cole could have faced as long as 27½ years in
prison and been fined $4.25 million.
Three charged in Tag scheme
St. Clair Circuit Judge Jim Hill reduced bond on
three women being held on charges that they used false information to
illegally obtain car tags for other people, including some illegal
Bond for Vivien Mondragon, 36, was reduced from
$1 million to $250,000, while bond for Aurora Briones and a
19-year-old woman was reduced from $250,000 to $50,000. The three are
being held in Pell City.
St. Clair District Attorney Richard Minor said
Hill also placed conditions on the three women not to leave the state
nor communicate with each other. Hill requested the district
attorney's office not release the name of the 19-year-old.
A St. Clair County grand jury indicted the three
Feb. 16 following an investigation that began in fall 2005, Minor
said. Mondragon faces 30 felony counts, 20 for using false information
and 10 aiding and abetting charges.
Briones faces 15 felony counts, while the
19-year-old faces 18 felony counts. The three were arrested last week.
Prosecutors believe the three used false
information to obtain thousands of car tags for people who did not
live in St. Clair County, some of them illegal aliens. William
Page wants money for Goodyear
State Rep. Jack Page of Gadsden sought more financial support Tuesday
from Gov. Bob Riley for Goodyear in Gadsden in exchange for Etowah
County’s legislative support for state incentives to a German steel
company. Page, who is vice chairman of the House Government
Appropriations Committee, tried to amend Riley’s $750 million economic
incentive bill designed to lure German steel maker ThyssenKrupp to the
Mobile area. Page wanted $30 million more bonding authority for
Goodyear’s modernization needs.
He withdrew his amendment after committee Chairman John Knight, of
Montgomery, promised to support Page during the regular legislative
session that begins March 6. Local officials and the Riley
administration are negotiating the state and local governments’ share
of the Goodyear package of incentives promised the company to help it
modernize and save 1,400 jobs.
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