United States Attorney Sandra J. Stewart announced that two defendants received prison sentences for conspiring to bring methamphetamine into an Alabama prison. On February 1, 2023, a judge sentenced Lamar Graves, Jr., 42, from Attala, Alabama, to 168 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Previously, on January 27, 2023, Derrick Antwon Traylor, 44, a resident of Gadsden, Alabama, received a sentence of 262 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Before their sentencing hearings, Graves and Traylor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
According to court records, sometime prior to 2019, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) began to suspect that Graves, then an inmate at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore, was involved in an effort to bring drugs into the facility. Further investigation revealed that Graves was using friends and family members, including Traylor, who were not incarcerated to assist him in smuggling drugs into the prison. Two other co-defendants have federal cases that are still pending.
“The presence of drugs in a prison creates an immediate threat to the safety of prisoners and corrections officers alike,” stated United States Attorney Stewart. “Corrections officers have challenging jobs. Those challenges increase exponentially when inmates are using methamphetamine and other dangerous controlled substances. I am grateful for the work of the DEA and the Alabama Department of Corrections in identifying this drug trafficking organization and putting a stop to its activities.”
“The presence of illegal drugs is a challenge faced by correctional systems across the country,” said Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm. “Criminals often go to significant lengths to bypass our security systems and seek to introduce drugs and other types of illegal contraband into our system. The ADOC is committed to enforcing our zero-tolerance policy on contraband and works very hard to eradicate it from our facilities, including referral for prosecution of those interdicted.”
“The successful prosecution and sentencing of members of this drug trafficking organization should put on notice those who engage in this type of illegal activity,” stated DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Towanda Thorne-James. “DEA will continue to collaborate with our state and local counterparts to ensure that those who attempt to flood the prison system with illicit substances face federal charges and a lengthy prison sentence.”
As noted, this case was investigated by the DEA and the Alabama Department of Corrections Law Enforcement Services Division. Assistant United States Attorney Mark E. Andreu is prosecuting the case