Taylors guilty of trafficking marijuana

Published 2:49 am Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sheriff Dennis Meeks helps to stack a portion of the day's haul against the side of the DTF office in Andalusia.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks helps to stack a portion of the day’s haul against the side of the DTF office in Andalusia.

A Covington County jury found two Florala men guilty of trafficking in marijuana and of possession of drug paraphernalia. The trial lasted three days.

Hank William Taylor, 60, and Gerald Nix Taylor, 56, both of Florala, were each found guilty.

In the summer of 2013, agents from the 22nd Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force received information about a large marijuana growing operation located on Union Road in Florala. The DTF partnered with a marijuana eradication team to fly a helicopter over the location. The helicopter pilot spotted marijuana behind 2802 Union Road, and then the pilot spotted someone attempting to destroy the marijuana. The individual quickly fled the scene on foot.

DTF agents converged on the location where the pilot located the marijuana. During the search, agents found a large number of marijuana plants growing on and around the property, later identified as the residence of Hank Taylor.

Agents located 111 marijuana plants of various sizes in Taylor’s yard, and approximately 100 more across the property line. Inside the residence, Agents located various paraphernalia used in the marijuana growing operation. Bags of fertilizer, starter trays, marijuana seeds and loose marijuana were all also found in the trailer. While the search was being conducted, Hank Taylor pulled into his residence, where he was arrested.

Hours later, agents located Gerald Taylor, Jr., in a nearby clearing. He was apprehended while trying to sneak across County Road 4.

A total of 439 marijuana plants were recovered from the operation.

Assistant District Attorney Emmett Massey prosecuted the case for the State.

According to DTF Commander Mark Odom, this was the third largest marijuana seizure in Covington County history.

Circuit Court Judge Charles “Lex” Short, who presided, set sentencing for the two men on Oct. 18, 2016. Trafficking in Marijuana is a Class A felony. The men face sentences of up to life in prison.

Charles Fleming was the defense attorney.