Court hears pleas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Several guilty pleas regarding various felony cases were accepted by the Covington County 22nd Judicial Circuit Court according to the Covington County District Attorney's Office.

Mack W. Vickers, 40, of Florala, recently pleaded guilty to three counts of Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance.

Vickers was sentenced to a total of 20 years imprisonment on each count and his sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

"Mr. Vickers sold marijuana on two occasions and crack cocaine on the third," said Chief Assistant District Attorney Greg Gambril. "These cases were part of a multiple-month undercover operation conducted by the Alabama Beverage Control Board (ABC) throughout Covington County with the cooperation of the Drug Task Force. On all three occasions, Vickers was captured on videotape selling to an undercover police officer."

Gambril explained that Vickers' sentence was enhanced for several reasons.

"First, because the area in Florala where these drug deals took place within three miles of a public school and within three miles of a public housing project, an additional ten years was added to his sentence. His sentence was also enhanced because he had a prior felony conviction."

Gambril noted that a similar guilty plea was taken from Rodney Roof, 28, also of Florala.

"Mr. Roof pleaded guilty to three felony charges involving cocaine and marijuana and was sentenced to 20 years as well. These cases also took place in Florala and were the result of the same undercover operation."

"The public focus (particularly in Covington County) has been on methamphetamine for so long that some people are forgetting that we still have a very serious cocaine and marijuana problem," added Gambril

"This undercover operation and these cases prove that we are going to continue fighting the drug problem on all fronts with every resource that we have at our disposal. It doesn't matter who you are or what the drug is. All illegal drug activity contributes to the overall problem one way or the other and we can't afford to let up in this continuing struggle."

The following persons also pleaded guilty recently:

* James Heath Harris: Pleaded guilty to Unlawful Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree in two separate cases. He received 15-year concurrent sentences in each case. His sentences were ordered to be split, with Harris having to serve two years imprisonment and the balance of his sentences on probation. Harris has also been required to complete a drug rehabilitation program while in the Department of Corrections and then to complete an in-house drug rehabilitation program immediately after serving his prison sentence.

* Larry Donnell Pitts: Pleaded to Rape in the Second Degree. He received a sentence of 10 years.

* Daniel Ray Jackson: Pleaded to Possession of a Firearm with Altered Identification and Carrying a Pistol Without a License. He was sentenced to three years and one year respectively. These sentences were ordered to run concurrently.