Police found Alabama felon laying on loaded pistol in back seat of car; he’ll now spend 20 years in prison
Published 9:40 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022
An Alabama felon who was found – twice – illegally in possession of firearms will spend the next 20 years in prison, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
The Northport man was charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Special Agent in Charge Mickey French.
Chief United States District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Dedrick Dawon McDowell, 24, of Northport, to 240 months in prison on two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
“This young defendant continued to engage in dangerous and illegal activities even after being convicted of a felony. The result is that he must now spend many years in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona. “We are grateful for the work of the Tuscaloosa and Northport Police Departments, in cooperation with the ATF, in bringing this repeat offender to justice.”
“ATF’s top priority is to reduce violent crime.” SAC French said. “This individual continuously ignored the law in several ways that cause harm to the community. Narcotics distribution and the prevalence of guns on our streets continue to plague our community at alarming rates. Individuals who illegally possess firearms and distribute narcotics will be held accountable for their actions. The ATF will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and apprehend those individuals.”
According to the plea agreement, on November 18, 2020, Northport Police officers responded to a 911 call at mobile home park on Hunter Creek Road in Northport, Alabama.
An agent with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force heard the police radio traffic and advised the responding officers that McDowell had numerous outstanding felony warrants. Officers observed McDowell lying down in the back seat of a vehicle.
McDowell was ordered out of the vehicle and was arrested on the outstanding warrants. Officers found two small bags of marijuana and $3,700 cash in McDowell’s pockets.
The officers recovered a digital scale with cocaine residue, four bottles of Promethazine, most often mixed with a controlled substance to form the popular drug known as “lean”, from a backpack in the front passenger’s seat, orange pills that were confirmed to be Adderall, and a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol on the back floorboard where McDowell had been hiding. The pistol was fully loaded with a round in the chamber.
On June 8, 2021, Tuscaloosa Police officers conducted a traffic stop on McDowell for speeding and failing to signal a lane change. Officers found hydrocodone pills, alprazolam pills, a small bag of marijuana, and $2,000 in McDowell’s possession.
Officers then searched the vehicle and found a large bag of marijuana and a Glock .45 caliber pistol under the driver’s seat. The pistol was loaded with a high-capacity extended magazine. The pistol had been reported stolen to the Tuscaloosa Police Department in 2017.