Jackson County Man Accused Of Selling Marijuana Across From School

ROSALIE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Jackson County man is jailed, charged with selling marijuana across from a school.

It turns out the man, Mack Arthur Kirby, has a history of marijuana trafficking.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama Beverage Commission agents served search warrants Monday at the 69-year-old’s home, directly across the street from Rosalie Elementary School on County Road 355.

Several other agencies participated in the four-month undercover investigation, including the Bridgeport and Stevenson police departments.

During the four-month sting, an undercover agent bought marijuana from Kirby three times.

“All total, we’ve probably bought somewhere close to two pounds from him,” Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips said.

As agents searched Kirby’s home on Monday, they seized marijuana and documents.    

“We don’t have any evidence that he’s selling to school kids but what we’re saying is when you sell it that close to a school, there’s sentencing enhancements that the courts can use,” Phillips said.

Kirby was previously sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1990.

He was found guilty of marijuana trafficking, and already had three felony strikes on his record.

He was convicted of arson in 1977, and had two convictions for moonshine.

In April 1981, Kirby was sentenced to eight years in prison for felony possession of a controlled substance.

Eight years later, investigators arrested Kirby for selling several pounds of marijuana.

Under Alabama’s 1979 Habitual Felony Offender Act, which did not recognize distinctions between violent and nonviolent offenders, the three strikes against Kirby mandated life imprisonment without parole.

But in 2001, the Alabama Legislature decided to allow judges to reconsider life sentences for nonviolent offenders.

Then-attorney general Bill Pryor fought applying the law retroactively, but the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in Kirby’s favor in 2004.

He became the first prisoner released under the new law, and several appeals in the Alabama Supreme Court refer to precedent set by the “Kirby motion”, named after him.

In 2009, Kirby received a full pardon.

“Now he’s a contributing member of society,” his attorney, Johnny Amari, said at the time. 

“I try to be a good neighbor,” Kirby said.  “I keep a clean place and I keep the yard mowed.”

Mack Kirby’s yard on August 21, 2012, the day after he was arrested. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT News 19)

“He’s already received one life sentence, and he got out of that.  This is three more felony charges, so that’s up to the courts to decide,” said Sheriff Phillips.

Kirby is being held in the Jackson County Jail and is charged with three counts of distribution of controlled substances.