MOBILE, AL – A Foley man was sentenced to 61 months in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
According to court documents, Jimmie Lee Avera, 35, was arrested by Foley police on May 6, 2021, on an outstanding warrant for possessing drug paraphernalia. Police subsequently executed a search warrant at a house on Lake South Drive that Avera shared with his codefendant, Caitlan Reid Bentley. During that search, police seized more than six pounds of marijuana, three guns, numerous rounds of assorted ammunition, digital scales and plastic baggies, and $41,000 in banded-up cash.
Text messages and other electronic data recovered from Avera’s cell phone showed that from at least August 2019 through May 6, 2021, he had agreed with Bentley and others to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana from the house on Lake South Drive. Avera admitted to police that he had previously served time in Florida state prison for a robbery conviction involving what he described as a “drug deal gone wrong.” Avera further admitted that he knew he was not supposed to possess the guns found in his house because he is a convicted felon.
Senior United States District Judge William H. Steele ordered Avera to serve a five-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison, during which time he will undergo drug testing and treatment. The court did not impose a fine, but Judge Steele ordered Avera to pay $200 in special assessments and ordered that Avera’s guns and ammunition be forfeited to the United States.
In November 2021, Bentley pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine. Judge Steele sentenced her to time served (one day in custody), with a three-year term of supervised release to follow.
U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Foley Police Department investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Roller prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.