MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A major player in a drug ring that federal prosecutors alleged sold deadly drugs in the region will go to prison for more than 13 years, a federal judge decided Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Terry Moorer sentenced Martin Carlton Melton, who went by the street name MC, to 13 years and four months in prison. After prison, the defendant will be supervised for five years by the U.S. Probation Office. The judge sentenced two other members of the conspiracy – FitzAlbert Norman McGloshen and Brittany Victoria Lovejoy.
Lovejoy got two years in prison and likely will get credit for the nearly 18 months she has been locked up since her arrest. and McGloshen got three years.
All three defendants got leniency in light of their cooperation with investigators. Moorer told Melton, for instance, that he would have sentenced him to no less than 30 years if not for the assistance he provided the prosecution.
“The real think is going to tell is the day you walk out of custody,” the judge said. “That’s really when we’re going to see what you do or not do.”
The defendants are among 42 indicted in 2020. Court papers described the loose network of drug dealers the “Crossley Hill Boys,” after a home on Crossley Hill Drive in Grand Bay where much of the drug dealing took place.
Melton was one of the leaders of the group, according to his plea agreement, directing others in the sale of drugs ranging from methamphetamine “ice” to heroin to fentanyl from 2016 to 2018. Initially, prosecutors sought to hold him responsible for at least one of the overdose deaths they say resulted from the conspiracy, but they backed off that enhancement.
Melton’s attorney, James Byrd, said his client was in a serious car accident at age 24 and took doctor-prescribed painkillers.
“Unfortunately, due to those opioids, he became addicted,” he said. “It wasn’t that Martin Melton went out looking for a high or adventure.”
The judge agreed that addiction likely played a role in Melton’s drift toward crime but added, “While you were on this path, you put a lot of dope on the streets.”
Byrd said his client’s decision to testify persuaded other co-defendants to plead guilty while also putting his own life at risk.
“When word of that got out, most of the other defendants realized they had not prayer,” he said. “They had not chance, no hope. … Martin is now marked as a cooperating witness, marked for possible retaliation.”
Moorer told Melton he did the right thing.
“The jails are full of two kinds of people – the ones that told and the ones that wished they had told,” he said.
McGloshen admitted that that he supplied heroin to members of the Mobile County conspiracy in 2019 and 2020. He would drove from the New Orleans area to Mobile to sell co-conspirator Edwin Jerome Owens about a half-ounce of heroin, according to his plea agreement. The sales amounted to a total of 100 to 400 grams, the plea agreement states.
Owens pleaded guilty in July, and Moorer sentenced him in February to 22 years in prison.
McGloshen’s lawyer, Stewart Hanley, pleaded for leniency.
“My client has taken responsibility in this case,” he said.
Moorer noted that McGloshen has a lengthy criminal record.
“You’re at that point in your life where I think you ought to be tired of the criminal life,” he said. “I hope you’ve decided you want to leave the dope business and criminal activity behind you. But time will tell.”
Lovejoy, according to her plea agreement, was in a relationship with another member of the conspiracy – William Grant “Whip” Owens, whom a jury convicted of drug charges 2½ weeks ago. She admitted that she was responsible for 20 to 35 grams of methamphetamine “ice.”
Lovejoy’s attorney, William Lancaster, said his client was a human trafficking victim at a young age but still managed to get a GED, some college and hold down jobs. But he said drug addiction led her astray.
“Brittany Lovejoy’s case is tragic in many ways, and we want the tragedies to stop,” he said.
Lovejoy read a letter she wrote apologizing for her conduct.
“I realize that I was no living a good life,” she said.
Moorer agreed that drug abuse led Lovejoy down the wrong path.
“I wish you hadn’t,” he said. “And you got what you got.”
The judge warned Lovejoy that without confronting her drug problem, she likely will die a premature death.
“Your life hangs in the balance,” he said.
The judge postponed sentencing for another defendant, Lisa Overby Brokaw, who admitted that she worked as a “human heroin tester,” traveling to New Orleans to use the drug to ensure its quality. Prosecutors asked for the delay so they can investigate a recent positive drug test that could impact Brokaw’s sentencing.
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