Clarksburg, W. Va.– A defendant in a federal case alleging a drug pipeline from Georgia to West Virginia has been brought to the Mountain State’s Northern District by deputy U.S. marshals and will be jailed pending prosecution.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi recently ordered Joel Macario Jimenez, 37, of Cartersville, Georgia, detained pending prosecution. Aloi cited a detention hearing held earlier in the Northern District of Georgia, where Jimenez was arrested.
In the Georgia hearing, the court noted that Jimenez would face 10 or more years in prison if convicted of the drug conspiracy. The court also ruled that the weight of the evidence against Jimenez was strong, cited his prior criminal history and prior history of violence or use of weapons, as well as alcohol or substance abuse, lack of stable employment and a prior failure to appear in court.
Represented by Morgantown attorney Darrell Ringer, Jimenez has pleaded innocent.
Other defendants in the case are Terrick Robinson, 34, of Cartersville, who’s represented by Morgantown attorney Jim Zimarowski; William Gregory “Will” Chappell, 32, of Cartersville, who’s represented by Assistant Federal Defender Beth Gross; and Sheddrick Damond Banks, 26, of Cartersville.
Robinson has pleaded innocent and is awaiting prosecution on the drug conspiracy charge, as well as a charge alleging distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. The latter charge involves the alleged overdose death of Courtney Nicole Dubois, 20, of Fairmont, last Aug. 9 in Lewis County. The dismembered body of Dubois was found Aug. 13 in the Bartow County, Georgia, landfill.
Chappell has pleaded guilty to federal drug and gun charges and is awaiting sentencing. He is expected to face 20 or more years in prison for a crystal meth possession/distribution conspiracy, and possession of a 9mm handgun in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Banks remains jailed in Georgia at the Bartow County Detention Center in Cartersville, where records show he’s been jailed since Sept. 30. Charges against him there, according to jail records, include reckless conduct; possession of marijuana (less than an ounce); receipt, possession or transfer of firearm by convicted felon or felony first offender; and violation probation/felony.
All of the allegations show an alleged offense date of March 4, 2018, except for the probation violation allegation, which dates to Aug. 13.
Banks is listed on the jail roster as Sheddrick Banks; he’s listed on the federal indictment in West Virginia as Seddrick Banks.
No trial date is set in the case, and Aloi previously has told defendants the court won’t set a trial date until all of them have had an initial appearance.
Banks has yet to have one.
However, some attorneys in the Northern District have successfully filed to sever defendants to speed up the process for clients who have been waiting in jail for a final defendant or defendants to be brought before the court.
No such motion has been made yet in this case. Jimenez only had been in jail in West Virginia for nine days as of Friday, well below the 70 days that’s normally the deadline for a trial to be held once an initial appearance has been held. But Robinson had been in jail 303 days, or more than four times longer than that normal 70-day speedy trial clock.