Darren Lee Brooker, 47, received five years’ probation from Circuit Judge Michael Conaway for a drug trafficking conviction. The sentence is being referred to as a “reverse-split”, with Brooker serving the five years’ probation before a 5 year prison sentence. However, the prison term could be suspended if Brooker “does well” while on probation.
Investigators originally arrested Darren Brooker and his father, Lee Carroll Brooker, in July of 2011 and charged them with marijuana trafficking. A Houston County jury found Darren Brooker guilty of marijuana trafficking, a class A felony crime, in October. The charges have a sentencing range of 10 to 99 years, or life in prison.
The drug trafficking charge against Lee Carroll Brooker, 74, remains pending.
An investigation by the Houston County Sherriff’s department and Dothan police led to the discovery of a growing drug operation at a residence in the 3700 block of State Line Road in Cottonwood, AL. According to Houston County Sheriff’s Captain, Antonio Gonzalez, 42 marijuana plants were seized from the property which had an estimated street value of over $92,000. The plants were found behind the house in a wooded area.
District Attorney Doug Valeska argued against any sentence involving probation and instead requested a 20-year prison sentence. “There were lights and plants all over the place,” Valeska said. “Trafficking doesn’t have to be selling. It’s trafficking, and it’s the ultimate drug case we have.”