AL man sentenced to life in prison for drug trafficking - - The News for South Mississippi

AL man sentenced to life in prison for drug trafficking

Jeremy Lee Gardner (Source: Lowndes County D.A. Office) Jeremy Lee Gardner (Source: Lowndes County D.A. Office)

A Red Level man has been convicted of drug trafficking in Lowndes County.

Lowndes County District Judge Adrian Johnson sentenced 42-year-old Jeremy Lee Gardner to life in prison on Monday. Gardner was arrested in 2013 for trafficking methamphetamine to different counties in Alabama.

According to Covington County District Attorney Walt Merrell, Gardner also has trafficking cases pending in Covington and Conecuh County.

"Gardner has been a blight on the people of Covington County, and I wanted to make certain that he went to prison for a very, very long time," Merrell said. "This conviction and sentence represent a substantial stoppage of the importation of Ice Methamphetamine into Covington County. Mr. Gardner has been one of the biggest drug importers into our County for the last few years."

Gardner was arrested in Lowndes County on Nov. 11, 2013 at the Marathon Oil Convenience Store at the Letohatchee exit on I-65.

Drug Task Force agents received information from an informant that Gardner was transporting a large amount of methamphetamine back to the Andalusia area.

With the description of Gardner's vehicle, his route and his scheduled stops, DTF agents were able to located Gardner at the Marathon gas station. After Gardner gave consent to officer to search his vehicle, agents found $10,000 worth of meth in his truck. Gardner was then taken into custody.

Merrell states that at the time of the arrest in 2013, Gardner was out on a $1 million bond for trafficking meth in Covington County. Those charges stemmed from an arrest on Sept. 8, 2013 in which Covington County Sheriff's Deputies recovered $4,000 worth of meth from Gardner's vehicle after he led authorities on a high speed chase.

Gardner also has charges pending in Conecuh County for possession of $2,000 worth of meth that was recovered at a residence rented by Gardner.

Both of the charges in Covington and Conecuh County are still pending, but Merrell says he expects that, because of the conviction in Lowndes County, those other cases will be resolved soon.

Court records show that Gardner has had multiple felony convictions, involving drugs, since 1995.

In 1995, Gardner was arrested in Covington County for possession of a controlled substance, and was granted probation after pleading guilty.

In 1996, Gardner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possession with intent to distribute meth. He was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison.

In 2003, Gardner was convicted in Covington County for possession of precursor chemicals which are used to manufacture meth. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the charges.

Then in 2005, Gardner was convicted, by Merrell, for unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance II, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Gardner is expected to appear in court next week in Conecuh County, and his case in Covington County is scheduled to go before a grand jury in September.

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