Gerald Barber awaits sentencing hearing on multiple drug charges

Published 10:06 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Marengo County man was convicted of multiple drug charges by a federal jury in Selma late last month.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama, 40-year-old Gerald “G-Money” Barber was convicted of two counts of possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine.

Chief United States District Judge Kristi K. DuBose presided over the trial. The trial started on Jan. 23. Barber is still awaiting a sentence hearing, which was scheduled by DuBose for April 12.

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According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Barber, who has been convicted previously of five felony drug charges, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Barber was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 31, 2017, for one count of possession, but on Nov. 28, 2017, a federal grand jury handed down a superseding indictment for two charges of possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the jury heard evidence during the trial from a March 11, 2017, incident where Barber was arrested after a traffic stop in Camden.

“Barber was driving a white 2002 Chevrolet Blazer in Camden when Camden Police Officer John Ferguson pulled the vehicle over for speeding and having no tag light. Barber had no identification, proof of insurance, license, or registration,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

“He lied to the officer about his identity. Officer Ferguson noticed that Barber was visibly nervous and saw traces of a green leafy substance in the vehicle.  Officer Ferguson called for backup, patted down Barber outside the Chevrolet Blazer for officer safety and possible narcotics.”

The officer found an “eight ball” of crack cocaine, which was concealed underneath Barber’s shorts. Barber was then arrested and taken to the Prince Arnold Detention Center in Wilcox County. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said after he was arrested, Barber falsely signed a waiver of counsel form with his brother’s identification.

Evidence was also presented from an April 12, 2017, incident, where Barber led officers on a high-speed chase.

“Uniontown Chief of Police Willie Walton was on routine patrol in Uniontown when he saw an individual standing by the driver’s side window of a white Chevrolet Blazer on Johnson Street. Chief Walton testified that he recognized the individual as a crack cocaine addict and was suspicious of a drug sale between the individual and the vehicle’s driver,” the attorney’s office said.

“Barber was driving the same Chevrolet Blazer. A passenger was also inside. As Chief Walton approached, the individual ran away and the Chevrolet Blazer sped off. Chief Walton activated his lights and sirens and tried to stop the vehicle, which had an expired tag.”

The chase reached speeds of 70-80 miles per hour and ended on Franklin Street. Walton testified that during the chase, Barber threw approximately $8,000 worth of crack cocaine out of the driver’s side window.

A passenger in the vehicle told officers Barber also threw a black plastic bag out of the car earlier in the chase and helped officers find the bag, which contained 16 plastic baggies containing an estimated 80.8 grams of crack cocaine. Walton testified that Barber appeared to be high when he was arrested. He said he was foaming at the mouth and appeared to have pieces of crack cocaine in his mouth.

The investigation was a joint effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Uniontown Police Department and the Camden Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu and George F. May prosecuted the case.

This was the second federal trial held in Selma in many years.