Federal prosecutors seeking drug suspects tied to man charged in HPD officer fatal shooting

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The killing of Huntsville Police Department Officer Billy Clardy on December 6 came in the early stages of a drug bust, police said.

The man charged in the killing, LaJeromeny Brown, of Chattanooga, had previously been in prison on federal drug charges.

The Madison County District Attorney’s office is prosecuting Brown on a capital murder charge, but Jay Town, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama says others involved in the alleged drug operation won’t escape justice.

“We’re certainly going to take a long look at the enablers of Mr. Brown,” he said. “He was not able to get into the position that he was in, here in Huntsville, conducting the kind of business — without getting into it –that he was trying to conduct up here, without others. And those others are going to find themselves in federal bed space in federal prison.”

Town said Brown’s associates aren’t just based in Alabama and Tennessee.

“The operation that Mr. Brown was involved with certainly was sophisticated. It wasn’t just a street corner-level operation, there was a multi-state, sort of commerce going on,” Town said.

Brown is due in court for a preliminary hearing on January 27.

The judge set to hear the evidence in the case, District Judge Patrick Tuten, has issued a number of orders in recent days.

Those include a gag order on most public statements by prosecutors, defense lawyers and law enforcement personnel. The judge also issued an order, directing that “recording, broadcasting, photographing, blogging, and/or internet posting and/or streaming, is hereby prohibited from inside the courtroom during any proceeding in this case.”

The order continues, “The order applies to all persons attending any hearing in this matter including but not limited to the parties, their attorneys and the staff and employees of said parties or attorneys, news media or social media reporters.”


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