By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An Atmore man faces a trio of drug-related charges after police raided his home last week and discovered an undisclosed quantity of marijuana and an undisclosed quantity of methamphetamine, along with a set of scales and a grinder for weighing and cleaning the marijuana.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks confirmed that Anthony Jerome Riley, 43, of a Bragg Street address was taken into custody on September 19 after an APD investigator assigned to the Alabama Drug Task Force and uniformed city police officers conducted a warranted search of his home.
“On September 19 the Alabama Drug Task Force, with assistance from APD patrol officers, executed a search warrant at a Bragg Street address,” Brooks said. “Upon making entry they found illegal narcotics, and Anthony Jerome Riley was arrested without incident.”
An employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division reported that Riley was released after a $5,000 bond was posted on his behalf. He is charged with one count each of first-degree possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a controlled substance (meth) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia (the scales and grinder).
In Alabama, first-degree marijuana possession is a Class C felony punishable upon conviction by a prison term that could range from one year and one day, to 10 years, along with a fine of up to $15,000.
According to Code Section 13A-12-213 of state law, “a person commits the crime of unlawful possession of marihuana in the first degree if … he or she possesses marihuana for other than personal use; or he or she possesses marihuana for his or her personal use only after having been previously convicted of unlawful possession of marihuana in the second degree or unlawful possession of marihuana for his or her personal use only.”
Brooks, who noted that Riley has been arrested “several times” in the past for drug violations, said the first-degree possession charge could have been lodged against Riley for either reason.
“Even if it was for his personal use, he had been convicted before for second-degree possession,” he said. “The amount of marijuana they found was enough to get a first-degree charge, too, so it could have gone either way.”