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December 18, 2014

Former Cherokee County GOP head arrested on marijuana charges

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John Lloyd Ellis

Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 7:48 pm | Updated: 8:53 pm, Tue Jul 15, 2014.

Cherokee County authorities said Tuesday that they arrested an Ellisville man on charges of marijuana possession as part of a state marijuana eradication program  effort Friday.

John Lloyd Ellis, 52, was arrested by Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies Friday at his home in Ellisville, charged with first-degree unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia after 13 marijuana plants were found at his residence, said Sheriff Jeff Shaver by phone Tuesday.

Ellis has been an adjunct instructor of political science at Jacksonville State University and has listed himself on a resume as chairman of the Cherokee County Republican Party. Reached by telephone Tuesday, Ellis said he’d resigned from the party position.

“I’ve stepped down,” he said. “I have no other comment.”

Shaver said that an Alabama Bureau of Investigation helicopter was used in the investigation, which netted more than 600 marijuana plants in different areas across the county. Investigators expect more arrests, according to a Sunday press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Angie Finley, a JSU spokeswoman, wrote to The Star Monday that Ellis had served as an adjunct instructor in the university’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

“He is not currently employed by JSU,” Finley wrote.

According to Ellis’s resume, which was found on JSU’s website prior to being taken down Tuesday, Ellis had been an adjunct instructor at the university from “Fall 2000 to present.” Ellis taught courses in American government as well as state and local government, according to the resume.

Finley said Ellis was last employed with the university during the Spring 2014 semester.

It was not clear Tuesday if Ellis had retained an attorney, or when he is scheduled to appear in court on those charges.

First-degree unlawful possession of marijuana is a class C felony, punishable by no less than 1 year in prison, but no more than 10 years.

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