Local man guilty

Published 4:06 pm Sunday, May 11, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
A Brewton man is facing 10 years to life in prison after being convicted by a jury in the United States District Court in Mobile last week.
Christopher Fountain was convicted of one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute crack cocaine and one count of interstate travel in aid of racketeering.
Fountain was arrested in 2003 on the charges following an investigation by the 21st Judicial Drug Task Force, Brewton Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
DTF Commander Keith Hutchins said agents with his agency deserve the credit for the arrest and conviction.
U.S. Attorney Deborah J. Rhodes commended the efforts of DEA agents, DTF and the Ci8ty of Brewton Police Department for their efforts.
Hutchins said other arrests in connection to Fountain's case are possible.
According to court records, Special Agent Wade Barnes of the DEA, testified during the trial of a confession that Fountain made to him and the task force officers in October 2007.
Barnes testified Fountain told him he had obtained six ounces of crack cocaine from Reco McNeal who was traveling from Brewton to Atlanta to obtain the crack cocaine. Barnes further testified that Fountain told him after McNeal was arrested, Fountain took over McNeal's supplier and started traveling to Atlanta to obtain the drug. Fountain told Barnes he made eight trips to Atlanta during 2007, bringing back a total of six ounces of crack cocaine and cocaine on each trip. Fountain also told Barnes the names of various individuals Fountain then distributed the crack cocaine and cocaine to in Brewton.
Barnes also testified Fountain said he had paid off a police officer to obtain information about the location of Drug Task Forces officers.
Sgt. Wade Robinson of the Orange, Tex., police department, testified he stopped a vehicle traveling on Interstate 10 in his city on Feb. 19, 2007 and seized $26,860 in cash from the vehicle. The cash was hidden inside a pillowcase on the back seat in the vehicle, Robinson said.
Robinson also testified that Reco McNeal was in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Another witness at the trial, Kevin Campbell, testified that he, Fountain and McNeal had pooled their money in order for McNeal to purchase the cocaine in Houston, Tex.
At the close of the trial, the jury found that the conspiracy charge involved an amount of crack cocaine in excess of 50 grams, which triggers a 10-year mandatory minimum imprisonment sentence for Fountain with a maximum term of life imprisonment. Parole has been abolished in the federal criminal justice system. Sentencing for Fountain is set for July 25.