From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge sentenced Eric Ashley Jr., 27, of Birmingham, on a drug charge yesterday, announced U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.
U.S. District Court Judge Madeline H. Haikala sentenced Ashley to 30 months in prison for possession with the intent to distribute a substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl. Ashley pleaded guilty to the charge in June.
According to facts presented at the sentencing hearing, on Jan. 12, 2022, a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a single car accident in the 4600 block of Bud-Holmes Road, in Pinson, where a vehicle struck a telephone pole. Ashley, who was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, was standing outside of the vehicle.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy smelled marijuana coming from inside the wrecked vehicle and observed bits of marijuana in the backseat and floorboard area. The deputy also observed an orange duffel bag in the wood line, 10 feet away from the vehicle. The bag was unzipped and contained a large amount of marijuana in bags. The deputy recovered 61.82 grams of fentanyl located in a gallon size zip-locked bag inside the duffle bag.
The ATF investigated the case, along with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Darius Greene prosecuted the case.