Eddie M. Chandler was arrested after 60 to 70 marijuana plants were found in his backyard, Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson said.
The arrest came after Calhoun County deputies and Alabama State Troopers conducted a Tuesday morning air search for marijuana plants growing in Piedmont. The state police routinely fly airplanes over all counties in Ala-bama to check for marijuana.
Deputies Carter Allen and Joey Stone apprehended Chandler at a traffic light near his house on Piedmont Springs Road. Chandler was pulled over in a pickup truck containing fertilizer and water buckets, Amerson said. No bond has been set.
Chandler has faced his share of legal trouble before. In 1991, Chandler was sentenced to eight months in prison for his participation in a massive Piedmont drug ring led by his older brother, David Ronald “Ronnie” Chandler.
David Ronald Chandler was the first federal defendant to be sentenced to death under a 1988 anti-drug law that al-lows for capital punishment when an intentional killing occurs in connection with criminal enterprise. During the 1991 trial, David Ronald Chandler was convicted of ordering the death of a police informant, securing a capital pun-ishment verdict. President Bill Clinton eventually commuted Chandler’s sentence to life in prison.
The Chandler Advocacy Fund, Inc. was a group started by David Ronald Chandler’s supporters to help secure his commutation from death row. The group’s contact information lists its address as 505 Piedmont Spring Rd. – Eddie Chandler’s address, where the marijuana plants were found by police Tuesday.
Eddie Chandler is currently on federal probation for another drug charge – in 2005 he was arrested for felony drug trafficking in Calhoun County, court records show.
Amerson said he wasn’t surprised at the arrest.
“Chandlers and Piedmont and drug trafficking go hand in hand,” he said.
As of Tuesday evening, the sheriff’s department had not been able to reach Chandler’s probation officer.