Whitaker denied bond

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

GREENVILLE – Alton Larchon Whitaker learned his immediate fate here Tuesday.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel, Whitaker was ordered to be held without bond in lieu of the federal drug charges lodged against the Aulander man.

Whitaker, 30, was transported Nov. 20 to the Pitt County Detention Center in Greenville by Aulander Police Chief Jimmy Barmer and Bertie Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Frank Timberlake. One day later (Nov. 21), Whitaker was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The charges filed by the United States District Court n Eastern District against Whitaker include:

Count 1 (stemming from an April 25, 2006 arrest) n Whitaker did knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to distribute a quality of cocaine base (crack). If convicted, that charge carries a 20-30 year prison term, $2 million in fines and six years probation.

Count 2 (an arrest made on Aug. 8, 2006) – Whitaker did knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base (crack). If found guilty, that charge carries 10 years to life behind bars, $4 million in fines and eight years probation.

According to Timberlake, Judge Daniel on Tuesday deemed Whitaker as “a danger to the public.”

Whitaker will be held in federal custody. No trial date has been announced, but Timberlake said it could occur within the next 90 days in Federal Court in Wilmington.

The move to take the case against Whitaker to the federal level fulfills a promise made by Bertie County law enforcement officials. Over the past 18 months, Whitaker has been arrested three times on drug charges.

In the latest of those arrests (Aug. 8), Whitaker was found in possession of an ounce of crack cocaine.

Upon being taken into custody on that charge, Whitaker was on probation for a previous conviction of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine. Additionally from the August incident, he was out on bond stemming from a second arrest on the same charges.