Bibb Co. man
Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005
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The Selma Times-Journal
A man attempting to bribe the assistant police chief of Brent was convicted Thursday of six counts of bribery, one count of possession of marijuana, two counts of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of trafficking in cocaine.
The investigation in the case actually began on Nov. 8, 2001. Lee &8220;Honey&8221; Thomas Dobyne of Brent flagged down Assistant Chief Ricky Heard while Heard was patrolling Camp Road.
Heard turned on the car’s camera/recorder as Dobyne walked around the car, according to a release from the district attorney’s office.
He told Heard that he’d given payoffs to other officers through the years and asked Heard to &8220;watch his (Dobyne’s) back.&8221;
Heard drove to the Bibb County district attorney’s office and contacted an agent with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation was contacted. From that point, the ABI supervised an undercover investigation with Heard’s help. Several days after the initial contact, Dobyne offered heard $1,000 per month in exchange for warnings of impending search warrants or any threat to his &8220;illegal drug business.&8221;
Over the next few months, Dobyne paid Heard in drugs and money on six separate occasions, all of which was delivered into evidence with the ABI. On the last payoff day, April 3, 2002, Dobyne was arrested and two State Trooper SWAT teams entered the Dobyne &8220;compound&8221; in Brent, assisted by the Drug Enforcement Agency, ABI agents, Brent police and the Bibb County Sheriff’s department. The subsequent search of Dobyne’s home netted police cocaine, cash and marijuana. Arrington said Dobyne wouldn’t cooperate with the ABI on further investigations into officers who may have accepted bribes in the past.
Arrington said there was no investigation into any officers.
Dobyne was found guilty by a jury on Thursday after four days of testimony. He faces a sentence of 15 years to life for each charge. Presiding Judge Jack Meigs will schedule sentencing at a later date. Fourth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Michael Jackson said he was pleased with the case. Arrington said the state will seek the maximum sentence &8220;to send a strong message to drug dealers.