John Wesley Akin, 25, graduated from Birmingham Southern College in May 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in Economics and Business Administration. Akin’s resume’ claims a 3.6 GPA and memberships in enough honor societies to field a basketball team. Among his charitable endeavors was work with Habitat for Humanity and Urban Ministries.
Akin, who lists his residence as 529 North Seminary Street in the University District, and David Ros, also of Florence, were arrested in Morgan County on Monday for trafficking in heroin. This isn’t Akin’s first criminal rodeo. In May 2011, he was arrested for burglarizing Alabama Outdoors in its former location on Courtwalk. From pilfering ladies’ jackets, Akin has risen to become what some are calling a key player in the North Alabama heroin trade.
Akin lists his current employment as a sales representative with Alabama Interconnect, a communication firm located on Veterans Drive in Florence. It seems likely his future may hold a career in license plate manufacture.
If found guilty, what kind of sentence may Akin expect? According to this, at least 15 years with no good time or parole:
In the State of Alabama, drug trafficking is selling drugs over certain threshold amounts that are different for each type of drug. They include:
More than 2.2 pounds of marijuana
At least 28 grams of cocaine or a mixture containing cocaine
At least four grams of heroin, morphine, opium or other opiates
Five hundred or more pills of hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Palladone)
At least 28 grams of 3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine (Ecstasy, MDMA)
Four grams or more of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
At least 28 grams of amphetamine, methamphetamine or related drugs
Punishments vary according to the amount, from three years to life without parole, plus heavy fines starting at $50,000. Possession of a firearm while violating this law adds five years to the sentence. If there is any prior felony on your record, you face an enhanced sentence of at least 15 years to life, as a “habitual felony offender.” These are mandatory minimum sentences that don’t allow early parole or time off for good behavior, and they cannot be suspended, deferred or withheld unless the defendant helps the state arrest or convict co-conspirators.
In addition, the state may charge you with involvement in a drug trafficking enterprise if you had a managerial role in a group of at least five other people who trafficked in drugs, and you earned more than the minimum wage by doing so. That charge carries a penalty of 25 years to life for the first offense.