Selma man sentenced after officer dragging, other charges

MONTGOMERY, AL - Attorney General King announced Wednesday that a Selma man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for attempted drug trafficking, seven years for possession of a controlled substance (ecstasy pills), 12 months for assault of a police officer, 12 months for possession of marijuana and 12 months for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jarvis Moss was denied probation and the sentences were ordered to run concurrently. Moss was sentenced last month in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama to serve 16 months for assault of a federal officer. King's office says the state and federal sentences are to be served separately.

At the end of his state trial on March 24, Moss pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and to possession of a controlled substance, which were two of the five charges against him. The jury proceeded to find him guilty of the remaining three charges, attempted trafficking of cocaine, third-degree assault, and second-degree possession of marijuana.

"This defendant deserves every day he spends in prison for his crimes," said Attorney General Troy King. "He has consistently chosen to live an illegal and dangerous lifestyle and even after he was given a second chance, he continued to do so. Drug trafficking and other illegal drug activities are a plague upon our people, particularly our young people.  They inflict serious harm upon our citizens and endanger the law enforcement officers who risk their lives to protect us."

The Attorney General's Office presented evidence and testimony from drug enforcement officers who observed Moss making a suspicious transaction, followed him in his car, and found ecstasy pills, marijuana, digital scales, and a substance that appeared to be cocaine.  The crime of attempted trafficking arises from the defendant's possession of 55 grams of white powder with the appearance and consistency of cocaine, and which he admitted to officers that he believed was cocaine when he had purchased it. Possession of cocaine in excess of 28 grams is considered trafficking under state law. During the course of the search, Moss attempted to flee in his car and dragged one of the officers for about 100 yards. The officer suffered bruises and injuries to his upper arm and shoulder.

Additional information was presented by the prosecution in court at the sentencing, where the Attorney General's Office requested the maximum penalties.  Moss had been serving pre-trial diversion for previous crimes prosecuted by Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson's office involving possession of drugs and stolen handguns. His pre-trial diversion program had ended on June 8, just one day before his arrest on June 9, 2006, for the crimes for which he was sentenced Tuesday. The previous crimes occurred in the same vicinity as the crimes for which Moss was just sentenced, in the 1400 block of Church Street in Selma.

INFORMATION SOURCE: The Attorney General's Office