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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Alabama
Prim F. Escalona , United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Career Recidivist Drug Dealer Sentenced to 25 Years for Trafficking Crack Cocaine while Armed

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – This week a federal judge sentenced a convicted felon charged with drug trafficking while armed announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) Special Agent in Charge Mickey French.

Chief United States District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Clemmie Lee Spencer, 43, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to 25 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possessing a firearm after previous convictions of drug trafficking and possession.

“Reducing violent crime is top priority of our office,” U.S. Attorney Escalona said. “Spencer repeatedly ignored the law, and today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of his crimes. Thank you to our prosecutors and law enforcement partners for working diligently to continue to remove the worst offenders from our communities.”

“Drug trafficking and the prevalence of guns on our streets continue to plaque our community at alarming rates,” SAC French said. “The ATF will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and charge those individuals who continue to make our neighborhoods unsafe with their armed drug trafficking activities.”

On August 15, 2019, Spencer was arrested at 1115 28th Street in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, following the execution of a search warrant. Upon arrival in the early morning, agents had to forcefully enter the home due to no response when they announced their presence. Once inside the house, agents found Spencer and his girlfriend. Agents seized over 60 grams of “crack” cocaine, 17 grams of marijuana, cash, a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver, a loaded H&R Arms Company .38 caliber revolver, a loaded Winchester .22 caliber rifle, assorted ammunition, and digital scales. The loaded rifle was found in a utility closet with children’s toys and bicycles.

Spencer’s prior convictions include a January 4, 2006 conviction for trafficking marijuana. He was sentenced to the Alabama Department of Corrections for 10 years. While incarcerated, he was disciplined 11 times, including 5 times for possession of prison contraband. Three months after being released, on February 22, 2011, Spencer was arrested for being in possession of marijuana packaged for sale. He was convicted on September 6, 2012, for unlawful possession of marijuana first degree, and sentenced to 32 months of home confinement. That sentence was suspended, and he was placed on probation for three years. While on probation, Spencer was a repeated violator.

Spencer was arrested again on December 10, 2014, and indicted for second degree rape and sex abuse of a child less than 12 years of age. These charges were dismissed on January 4, 2018, because the mother of the victims and the victims failed to cooperate with the prosecution of Spencer.

On November 17, 2020, a grand jury in the Northern District of Alabama charged Spencer in a three-count superseding indictment with possession with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The jury trial in this case began on March 22, 2021. After eight prosecution witnesses testified, Spencer knowingly and voluntarily pleaded guilty on March 23, 2021. The Court accepted Spencer’s plea of guilty to all three charges in the superseding indictment and found Spencer guilty. While in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service awaiting trial, Spencer committed numerous institutional violations including possession of drugs and weapons.

ATF investigated the case along with the Tuscaloosa Police Department and the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Cross and Brittany T. Byrd prosecuted the case.

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