Four arrested on drug charges

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Four individuals were arrested on drug charges Friday at apartments on Fall City Road.

The SWAT and narcotics divisions of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and Jasper Police Department's narcotics division also seized two handguns, over 20 grams of methamphetamine, ecstasy pills and assorted drug paraphernalia after executing a drug search warrant at the apartments. 

Avery Gene Shanklin, aka “Gino,” 46, of West Jasper, was charged with two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance (methamphetamine, ecstasy), felon in possession of a firearm, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Randa Lasha Morgan, 35, of Sumiton, was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Brandi Elaine Brown, 39, of Cordova, was charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gabriel Hollis Cordell, 20, of Cordova, was charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

WCSO Narcotics Investigator Josh Edwards had been following the alleged drug dealing activities at the location for some time, making a number of controlled buys of meth and ecstasy prior to today’s arrests.

Investigators believe Shanklin, who was the target of the investigation, was a major supplier of methamphetamine and ecstasy for that community and beyond.


Bingo hall shut down in Boldo

Individuals associated with an electronic bingo hall that was shut down in Carbon Hill in March were closed again on Sunday.

The Walker County Sheriff's Office announced on Facebook that Skillville Bingo Hall on Hwy. 78 around Boldo Road had been shut down.

"The same group running this operation had previously been shut down in Carbon Hill and opened back up with modified machines, hoping to skirt the law," according to the Facebook post.

Sheriff Nick Smith confiscated approximately 40 electronic bingo machines at a building on Brakefield Dairy Road in March. 

Several weeks later, Smith issued a statement, drafted in conjunction with Attorney General Steve Marshall, that sought to clarify what constitutes illegal gambling.

Paper bingo played traditionally with paper or plastic cards and bingo markers was listed as the only game of chance legal in the state.

Games of skill, defined as any game which requires the player to exert any skill other than putting in coins and pushing a button, pulling a lever, etc. or a game that relies more on a player's skill than random chance or "luck," is also legal.

Illegal activities include electronic bingo and games of chance, defined as any game which can be won by no act of the player or a game that relies more on chance than a player's skill. Specific examples are slot machines, penny machines, dice and roulette.

Pushing a button or pulling a lever is not considered a "skill" under state law, according to the release.