Chase Dearman Felony Marijuana Attorney in Mobile AL

FOX10: Feds: Mobile ring laundered marijuana profits through casino chips, California cannabis firms

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Prichard police pulled over a car in December 2019, finding thousands of dollars in cash and a driver who offered contradictory explanations about the money.

It was no lucky bust. Court records show that federal law enforcement officers had been on to the driver and his partners for months, tracking a sophisticated network that regularly smuggled marijuana by the kilo from California to the Mobile area. Those court papers show members of the conspiracy then laundered the profits in a variety of ways – including casino chips, real estate, cannabis businesses in the Golden State and a dummy corporation set up by one of the conspirators as a supposed construction firm.

The investigation would lead to the indictment of 14 people on federal drug charges, including nine who already have pleaded guilty. That includes Mohammed Zohair Adi, who pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy to commit money laundering. Also this week, a judge sentenced the man who was behind the wheel in Prichard that day in 2019, Damario Kentel King. The judge dismissed money laundering conspiracy charges as part of the plea bargain and sentenced him to 6½ years in prison for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

Among those named in the indictment is Jervoris Scarbrough, whom Mobile police in December charged with murder in connection with a 2014 shooting. Scarbrough was the first person Mobile County prosecutors sought to jail without bail under Aniah’s Law, which gives judges broader discretion to keep people locked up pending trial on violent offences. A judge, however, granted bail in that case.

Federal prosecutions of marijuana crimes are relatively unusual. And Chase Dearman, an attorney who represented King, said the network that prosecutors alleged here has a level of sophistication more typically found in criminal enterprises dealing in harder drugs.

“Usually, you see that kind of stuff in cocaine cases where there’s a lot more money involved. … The more complex systems I’ve seen have usually been about cocaine,” he said.

Enough marijuana for 3.1 million joints
King, 35, admitted responsibility for 400 to 700 kilograms of marijuana from January 2018 through May 2021. Based on recent University of Pennsylvania research, a kilogram of the drug is enough for 3,125 joints. That means the entire 1,000 kilograms alleged in the indictment, theoretically, could produce more than 3.1 million joints.

Court records indicate that the enterprise was quite lucrative for King. According to his plea agreement, he filed no federal income tax returns in 2017 or 2018 and yet had more than $1 million in unexplained cash income.

Prosecutors allege that drug couriers would smuggle kilogram-amounts of marijuana on commercial flights from California to the Mobile area and then transfer the money back to people and entities in California.

Court records describe a multifaceted money-laundering operation to process the drug profits. Adi’s plea agreement indicates that he and others made “structured” financial transactions of less than the $10,000 threshold at which banks are required to report activity to the government.

The conspirators also purchased and redeemed casino chips with drug proceeds and deposited money in California bank accounts and the Mobile area, the plea agreement states.

Adi and another money launderer used multiple businesses and personal financial accounts to move money from the Mobile area to California, according to the plea document. In one example listed in the document, he wrote a $20,000 check to Investors Inc., which he had registered in California in 2012, representing that it was construction business. But court records show that it was used to launder drug proceeds.

Investors Inc. received more than S100,000 in deposits made in Mobile, Pensacola and California from October 2019 to January 2020 – including some cash that bank employees reported literally smelled like marijuana.

Adi admitted that he and other launderers spent drug proceeds on investments in nine California properties – five in Sacramento, and one each in Merced, Shingle Springs, Rumsey, and Lodi. Prosecutors have asked a judge to order the defendants to forfeit those properties, along with a Mercedes.

In some instances, prosecutors allege, members of the enterprise deposited drug proceeds directly into the accounts of legal cannabis businesses registered in California. At other times, they would pay the expenses of grow operations with illegal drug proceeds.

Attorney: Defendant runs legit business
One of the defendants named in the indictment, Navjit Bhullar, owns one of those businesses and denies the allegations.

“My fella is a legitimate marijuana grower in California where (in) the state of California, it’s legal what he’s doing,” said Bhullar’s attorney, Jeff Deen. “Still against the law, federally, and therein lies the rub.”

Deen told FOX10 News that Bhullar is subject to – and complies with – detailed rules of operation under California’s marijuana laws.

“He’s heavily regulated by the state of California,” he said. “He can grow plants. And they have inspectors come in and tag ‘em, all your plants. And they’ll come back a few months later and tag ‘em, look at ‘em, make sure they can see you haven’t got any more than you’re supposed to have. And then the quality’s tested.”

Court records paint a picture of a thorough investigation that unfolded over many months and involved multiple seizures of cash, and in some cases, drugs. In addition to that stop in Prichard involving King, court records detail seizures at airports in Mobile, Sacramento, San Francisco, New Orleans, Houston and several other cities.

During one of those trips, King and a co-conspirator traveled in September 2020 from Mobile to San Francisco. After he returned two days later, according to his plea agreement, law enforcement authorities arrested him with 125 pounds of bulk marijuana packaged in multiple vacuum-sealed bags hidden in suitcases.

A subsequent search of King’s cell phones contained extensive evidence of his involvement in the drug organization.

Investigators tracked tens of thousands of dollars in deposits King made in 2019 and 2020 using case and wire transfers to California bank accounts, which co-conspirators quickly withdrew.

King is eager to put his legal problems behind him and start a new chapter, according to Dearman, his attorney.

“Mr. King is a is a client that I’m particularly fond of,” he said. “He’s very intelligent, very smart. And I’m sure that he will come out of prison, and he will be successful in whatever he does.”

Original Article found here.
By Brendan Kirby
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:35 PM CST

Chase Dearman Wins Drug Trafficking Appeal, Life Sentence Reversed

On May 29th, 2020, the following Conclusion was issued from a ruling by the ALABAMA COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS on the matter of CR-18-0332 Ezingim Demetrius Earl v. State of Alabama as stating the following:

Because the affidavit lacked sufficient probable cause to support the issuance of a search warrant for apartment 206, the circuit court should have granted Earl’s motion to suppress the evidence found in apartment 206. We therefore reverse the judgment of the circuit court and remand this case for further proceedings. In doing so, we note that Earl was originally charged with nine counts but that, because Earl agreed to plead guilty to one count of trafficking in marijuana, the State dismissed eight counts. Because this Court holds that the circuit court erred in denying Earl’s motion to suppress as to the apartment, this Court is also setting aside Earl’s guilty-plea conviction for trafficking in marijuana and his resulting sentence of life in prison.

Chase Dearman reverses a life sentence for trafficking marijuana conviction for 27.5 pounds of marijuana. William K. Bradford and Mr. Chase Dearman successfully argued that the search conducted by the police was illegal. The entire ruling by the ALABAMA COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS may be read here.

At The Dearman Law Firm, there’s not a criminal case we won’t handle. From drug felonies to all other criminal charges, give us a call and set up a free consultation.

Chase Dearman of the Dearman Law Firm is a Mobile, Alabama criminal defense attorney handling state and federal criminal cases in Mobile County, Baldwin County, and South Alabama. He has successfully defended countless clients in trials and appeals on all manner of criminal charges.

(251) 445-6997

Drug Charge Case in Mobile Alabama Circuit Court Dismissed

Sometimes, some things are in our control. Sometimes, those things and the resultant actions are instigated by a member of the public or police that report they saw suspicious activity outside your residence.

A drug charge is a serious issue that could land you in even worse trouble. Unfortunately, an arrest can happen even on mere suspicion. When you find yourself in such a situation, you have one chance to try and make it all right; call The Dearman Law Firm.


In the State of Alabama vs. Willicious Moffett, in a case where a police officer, Agent Tucker, alleged that he met with a confidential informant affiliated with the Mobile County Street Enforcement Narcotics Team in the past 72 hours, the defense sought to suppress evidence brought forth by Agent Tucker.

Drug felonies in Alabama vary in severity. However, even though the stipulated sentence may also vary, it does not mean that it cannot attract a punishment worse than what is recommended. Offences ranging from Class A misdemeanors like marijuana possession to felonies like drug distribution have seen many citizens off to jail, sometimes for long periods. Fortunately, Chase Dearman has a reputation of putting up an aggressive defense to secure the freedom of defendants.

In the case of Willicious Moffett, Chase Dearman referenced a 1990 appeal of the State vs. Nelms where an informant alleged that they had seen crack cocaine in the house of Tommy Lee Nelms at 625 WestView Drive. The defence was able to establish that the affidavit was defective. The motion to suppress was further strengthened by the fact that the affidavit’s definiteness was lacking, therefore making the search warrant null and void. The search was deemed unconstitutional on this basis and any evidence that was seized, inadmissible.

There was also a reference to the role of a search warrant in the Moffett case that quoted the United States vs. Greany case of 1991. The warrant used was not shown to be current or stale. With respect to Green, 2008, the case presented centered on an informant’s confidential information that Jeff Green was manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in his house and a shed just beside the residence. It was also established that Dothan Swat team snipers had observed continuous foot traffic between the house and the shed. In addition to that, it was established that a strong acidic chemical odor associated with methamphetamine manufacturing was coming from the house.

In this case, the Alabama Supreme Court found that the affidavit couldn’t hold any water. In the ruling, it was found that the affidavit lacked an indication of probable cause. How is this reference related to Agent Tucker and the Willicious Moffett case? Agent Tucker wrote the affidavit himself. Under the law, a police officer cannot exempt himself from the exclusionary rule to hos own actions.

Agent Tucker executing a search warrant that depends on his statement is inappropriate.

Using these arguments and references, the defense were able to show that the evidence that could have incarcerated Willicious Moffett cannot be used in a court, therefore getting the drug charge brought against the defendant dismissed.

Credible defense is not easy to out up, but as it has been demonstrated in the Moffett case. Chase Dearman does go to great lengths to try and assist clients in avoiding jail time.


Getting arrested is frustrating. Things can go from bad to worse in a matter in minutes. Here’s a few things you can do to avoid adding to your charge.

1. Talking to the police is a no-no. You are required by law to give out your names and address. Anything other that, you should not say unless in the presence of a lawyer. Worse case scenario, you say more than you’re supposed to and you aggravate your charge. Best case scenario, you play by the rules and call Chase Dearman.

2. Lying to the police will attract another charge and possibly make it worse for you in court. Giving out false information doesn’t look good when your case ends up in court. It may compromise your defense.

3. Don’t resist arrest. Things could be a lot worse. When you are under arrest, stay calm and wait until you are given your phone call to call The Dearman Law Firm. While you struggle against being arrested, you could cause harm to an officer, and that may count as assault.

4. Unless you see a valid warrant, do not accept a search on you or your premises. It is a requisite that a warrant is obtained based on probable cause. This is your right as a citizen.

5. Keep your case private. In this age of social media, anything you post, tweet, or say in the public domain can and may be used against you. Leave any details about your case out of social media.

6. Do not, under whatever circumstances, take any test. This includes polygraphs or lie-detector tests.

7. There is no charge too minor for a lawyer. Anything you do and the resultant charge will show up on records. It might get you in trouble. Whatever issue you have, always call a lawyer. They will come in handy for whatever charge.

At The Dearman Law Firm, there’s not a criminal case we won’t handle. From drug felonies to all other criminal charges, give us a call and set up a free consultation.

Chase Dearman of the Dearman Law Firm is a Mobile, Alabama criminal defense attorney handling state and federal criminal cases in Mobile County, Baldwin County, and South Alabama. He has successfully defended countless clients in trials and appeals on all manner of criminal charges.

(251) 445-6997