With gun in pants and joint in hand, police found Alabama man slumped over steering wheel of running car

Published 3:41 pm Monday, January 23, 2023

A federal jury on Thursday found a convicted felon guilty on gun and charges, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.

The jury returned its guilty verdict against Devon Martez Easley, 31, of Vestavia Hills, after three days of testimony before U.S. District Court Judge Madeline H. Haikala. Easley was convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and two counts of felon in possession of a firearm.

“This is the second trial in a week involving gun crime. We continue to use all tools in our toolbox to address the ongoing issue of gun crime in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona. “I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement partners to identify and bring to justice those who commit these crimes.”

“ATF’s top priority is to reduce violent crime,” said SAC Watson. “Drug trafficking and the prevalence of guns on our streets continue to plaque our community at alarming rates. The ATF will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and apprehend those individuals.”

According to evidence presented at trial, on January 26, 2020, Mountain Brook police officers responded to a call of a stranded car on Highway 280 near Shades Creek Parkway. Upon arrival officers found Easley unresponsive and slumped over the steering wheel. Officers opened the driver’s side door, put the car in park and turned off the engine. Easley sat up, and though somewhat responsive, appeared disoriented. In Easley’s hand, officers noticed a marijuana joint. After being told repeatedly by officers to “step out of the car,” Easley eventually exited the vehicle. Officers searched Easley and found him to be in possession of a Taurus 9mm pistol. Officers also searched the vehicle and recovered a loaded Sig Sauer 9mm pistol that had been reported stolen, 23 grams of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and synthetic marijuana. Some of the narcotics were packaged for distribution.

In addition to the convictions on the offenses committed in Mountain Brook on January 26, 2020, the jury also found Easley guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm for an incident on February 9, 2021, where Easley possessed a stolen Taurus 9mm pistol in Birmingham. Easley’s prior felony convictions included Breaking and Entering a Vehicle, Assault Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, First Degree, Attempted Distribution of a Controlled Substance, and Destruction of State Property.

The maximum penalty for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and heroin is 20 years in prison. Easley faces a minimum penalty of five years in prison for using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. The maximum penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm is 10 years in prison.