DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — A Decatur man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for drug trafficking, according to the Morgan County District Attorney’s Office.

John Kaleb Gillespie, 34, of Decatur was convicted in May for trafficking in cannabis, following a fall 2018 joint operation between the Decatur Police Department, United States Marshals Service, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Morgan County District Attorney’s Office, and the Moulton Police Department.

A release from the DA’s office on the sentencing said Gillespie was known to drive a black Camaro between Atlanta and Decatur to purchase ‘large quantities of narcotics.’

Authorities reportedly made multiple attempts to arrest Gillepsie on outstanding warrants in Moulton and Decatur, but the DA’s office said he was located eventually at a home in Decatur.

“Approximately forty (40) grams of marijuana was located in the room Gillespie had been in, along with over $25,000. The black Camaro was located at the residence and contained over ten (10) pounds of marijuana packaged in ten (10) bags,” the press release says.

Gillespie was booked into the Morgan County Jail for trafficking in cannabis and a probation revocation warrant.

He is a convicted sex offender with multiple prior felony convictions, and a ‘lengthy criminal history that spans across multiple states,’ the press release says. Officials also state he has multiple additional charges pending in a number of jurisdictions.

In October 2021, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reported that Gillespie escaped from the Morgan County jail. He is also charged with attempted murder, criminal mischief in the first degree, and attempting to elude law enforcement in Lawrence County.

“At sentencing today, Assistant District Attorney Stacy Adams pointed out that Gillespie had
disciplinary infractions while serving his sentence at the Department of Corrections, that he has a
consistent pattern of running from the police and trying to escape when he is in trouble, and that his behavior has escalated such that he is a danger to the public,” according to the Morgan County DA’s office.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) website, Gillespie was most recently being held in the Staton Correctional Center serving a 20-year sentence for rape and marijuana possession.