Ashland Restaurant Owner Faced with Multiple Felony Drug Charges

July 25, 2018

On July 23, 2018 in the early morning hours, the Ashland Police Department, along with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and Lineville Police Department, conducted a search warrant on the residence at 920 Peach Orchard Road, the house of Billy F. Campbell.

Upon entry Mr. Campbell was found and detained so that the search could commence. Once inside the home officers recovered large amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana, along with other narcotics and paraphernalia used for the processing, using, or sale of narcotics, as well as a firearm. 

Once the items were recovered Mr. Campbell was taken into custody and transported to Coosa County Jail for holding until all of the evidence was gone through. 

While searching the outside buildings of the residence, a liquor still, used in the making of illegal liquor, was found. At this point the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) alcohol division was called in to collect the still and prepare charges for the illegal still. 

After further investigation of the house it was determined that Mr. Campbell’s business may have been involved in the illegal drug trade, and a search warrant was sought for his restaurant.

Upon approval of a judge the search warrant was executed on the Blue and White Restaurant, on AL-77, in Ashland, and more methamphetamine and marijuana was found in the restaurant, along with more paraphernalia and several firearms.

After all of the evidence was sorted and weighed official charges were filed with the Circuit Clerk of Clay County, and Mr. Campbell was arrested for the following charges:
• Trafficking Methamphetamine, a Class A Felony
• Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class D Felony
• Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class D Felony
• Possession of Marijuana 1st Degree, a Class C Felony
• Felony Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class B Felony
• Felony Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class B Felony
• Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute, a Class B Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Possession of an illegal liquor still, a Class C Felony

Below is a short list of some of the evidence that was collected from the scene:
• 163.3 g of Methamphetamine
• Approximately 1 g of Crack Cocaine
• 15.5 ounces of Marijuana
• 4 firearms

Warrants have been obtained for the arrest of Jason Campbell, Mr. Campbell’s son, but at the time of release he had not been apprehended. Contact had been made with the Drug Enforcement Agency, and they were looking into adopting the case.

Long-time Restaurant Owner Arrested in Large Drug Bust

Press Release issued on the execution of search warrants issued for long-time restaurant owner,  Billy Campbell’s home and business,  The Blue & White, in Ashland.

On July 23, 2018 the Ashland Police Department, along with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and Lineville Police Department, conducted search warrants on the residence of 920 Peach Orchard Road, and The Blue and White Restaurant, located on AL-77 in Ashland.

Due to the amount of evidence that was collected at those scenes, the charges are still being discussed and decided upon. Once we have completed our investigations into this, and the charges have been filed we will provide more information.Chief Joseph Stanford would like to thank his Investigator Corey Dickinson, and Sergeant Micheal Harris, for their hard work in beginning this investigation, and know with their leadership this is just the beginning.

He would also like to thank Chief Shane Dunnagan, and Sheriff Ray Latham for their cooperation in the matter, because Chief Joseph Stanford knows that without support of our brothers in blue these types of operations could not happen.

Courthouse Threat Calls for Immediate Action by Commissioners


Tuesday, July 17, 2018-  During today’s planning session with the Clay County Commissioners,  an urgent matter concerning Courthouse security resulted in an emergency meeting called, with an executive session directly following.

Immediately afterward, Commissioner Bennie Morrison made this motion:” Due to recommendations from the Courthouse Security Committee and an imminent threat that has been perceived, and believed to be credible, I hearby make a move that three of the Courthouse doors be closed and locked and that an armed officer  or officers, at the discretion of the Sheriff,  be placed back at the Courthouse until at such time that this individual, or threat has been contained. Also, under this motion, we will be looking for some funding from the Circuit Judge .This motion was passed with a unanimous vote.

It is unknown at this time where the source of the threat is directed towards. Hopefully, I will have more information to pass along soon.

Ashland Police Report Another Break-in

On July 11, 2018 the Ashland Police Department was called by someone at the Clay County Extension office, stating that someone had broken into their building and offices.

Officers responded and found that one of the doors had been left unlocked sometime before and that is where the burglar had gained entry into the building.

Officers also found that one of the offices had been broken into as well. Some things were taken, and officers were looking into the matter, and it is still an ongoing investigation. Because it is still an ongoing investigation, no further comments will be made about the case. 

Back-to-back SAR Missions for CCRS

It’s been a busy Holiday week for Clay County Rescue Squad! Back-to-back search and rescue missions within a 48 hour period! Can I just take a minute and say how awesome these guys are?? Most members  are strictly volunteer too. Just another reason why Clay County is such a great place to live!

Here is a detailed account of the incident as released by Clay County Rescue Squad Missions Coordinator Brian Andrews:


CCRS was contacted for another SAR mission on July 5th, 2018. At appx. 6:30 PM, Clay County E-911 called Operations Officer Brian Andrews for 2 lost hikers that had been hiking most of the day. 2 females had gotten off trail at some point on the Cave Creek Trail. Several sets of coordinates were obtained and all were in the general area near McDill Point, but each about 1/4 mile from the other.

Brian sent a text immediately stating to not move and that CCRS members were en route and that they had their location pinpointed. Contact was maintained with them the entire time.
Several members reached staging area and headed in. Upon arriving at the latest set There was no sign of anyone and unable to make contact. The hikers were able to “share their location” with the crew in the woods via text and get updated coordinates on the spot. Again, another 1/4 mile away. This is a common issue when on the edge of a rock bluff and in heavy canopy of woods. Mainly due to satellite signals being partially blocked from one side, being on a high mountain and phones switching cell towers, and also refresh rate of the phone. Hiking further, the last set turned out to be good and the hikers were located.

Another great outcome. The hikers were uninjured, although low on water and food. They were led back out and taken to their vehicle. It was fortunate they decided to call before it got too late, being reached shortly after dark, and by dialing 911 so we could get the best information. As always, we thank everyone that helped tonight, especially 911 and our members.

Holiday Family Hike Results in Search & Rescue Mission

Press Release issued by Clay County Rescue Squad Missions Coordinator, Brian Andrews:

On Wednesday, July 4th at appx. 1:30PM, Clay County Rescue Squad Operations Officer Brian Andrews received a call from Clay County E-911 for 3 lost hikers. It was a mother and 2 children that got seperated from the rest of their party after lunch. The father had called 911 very soon after he was unable to locate. CCRS, along with Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Fish and Game, US Forest Service, Cheaha State Park, Shinbone Valley VFD, and most importantly ALEA Aviation Unit all responded. And please don’t forget that 911 dispatchers are the true first responders by getting us the info we need and handling the situations properly to aid us from start to finish.

CCRS first went in towards McDill Point from the North which was the last known location for them. With no signs and no contact, even meeting other hikers, they came back out. At approximately 4:20PM, ALEA Aviation Unit in Montgomery was contacted for assistance. With flight time and bringing in specialized people, they were at least an hour out. They have the equipment and training to do this very well and are reserved for extreme situations. In this situation, no phone, supplies, food, or water warranted along with no known direction of travel at this point. Keep in mind their plan was to hike as a group and trail conditions altered this. CCRS sent hikers headed in from 2 different directions from the Nubbin Creek area from the South solely based on decades of experience with this area.

At around 6:30PM ALEA contacted ground units and advised they believed they had the lost hikers in sight. Clothing descriptions (primarily an orange shirt) were matched and it was certainly the hikers we were looking for. After verified, family was notified of positive ID and that we were moving in. ALEA pinpointed, gave GPS coords, and circled leading the SAR member on the ground directly in to them, which took nearly an hour more due to rugged terrain.

Once reaching the hikers, snacks and water were provided. They were led back out partially on the trail, then down the ridge back to the access road hiked in to get them. Once reaching the staging area, more food and water was waiting thanks to a couple more that showed up supporting CCRS. The family was led back to town where they could be on their way home.

Again, CCRS would like to thank all agencies and people that assisted today. This is what we do, but it’s an awesome outcome to find lost hikers, not injured hikers. That’s what we enjoy.

Ashland Family Practice Burglarized

June 27, 2018- On the above listed date the Ashland Police Department received a call from Ashland Family Practice at approximately 6:00 a.m. stating that someone had broken into the business.

Officers responded and found Dr. David Hensleigh at his office. It was determined that the suspect gained entry through an air conditioner hole in a window.

Dr. Hensleigh stated that only his office was disturbed and that several items were missing from his office including some money and drug samples.

Because the matter is still under investigation, no further comments will be made, until the case has been closed.

Sheriff’s Office Investigate Burglary/Auto Theft

On Wednesday June 13th around 3pm, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office was call to investigate a possible break-in and car theft on County Road 5, just south of Ashland. The Victims reported that their residence had been broken into and their 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer was missing.

Upon further inspection, the victims soon realized that a possible internet intrusion had occurred, along with several items taken from inside the home.

Investigators and Deputies began to piece together the facts surrounding the case and with the help of the victims, possible suspects were identified. A “Be on the Look Out” (BOLO) was issued for two individuals along with a description of the vehicle taken to surrounding agencies.

At approximately 9pm, Investigator Shanon House received a call stating two individuals fitting the suspect’s descriptions had been seen in the Sylacauga area just off U.S. 280.

When that information was relayed to Sylacauga Police, it was found Sylacauga Police were at the same time investigating a complaint of suspicious persons around the Hibbett’s Sport Store just off U.S. 280.

Upon further investigation, the suspects were identified as those reported by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the late afternoon. Clay County Investigators arrived on the scene with Sylacauga Police and identified the persons wanted in connection with the County Road 5 burglary and car theft.

Sylacauga Police began a search of the area and found the missing 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer in an adjacent parking lot. Information gathered by Police and Sheriff’s Investigators lead them to a nearby hotel that the suspects had acquired.

Several items were recovered from the vehicle and hotel room indicating that the suspects were responsible for the County Road 5 burglary and theft. Charged was Jennifer Renee Ballard, age 40 of Minneola, Florida and Pasquale Joseph Rossetti, age 30 of Clermont, Florida. Each have been charged with Theft of Property 1st, Theft of Property 2nd, and Burglary 3rd.

Both individuals remain in the Clay County Detention Center on Bonds totaling $180,000.00. Additional charges are expected as Investigators continue to gather additional evidence on this case.

Sheriff Latham and Investigator Shanon House thanks the Sylacauga Police Department and a special thanks to Patrolman Christopher Gallops for his attention to the earlier issued BOLO and location of the suspects that evening. Without question, his attentive skills greatly aided Clay County Investigators in the arrests of suspects associated with the Theft and Burglary.

TruCabinetry looks to hire former MasterBrand workers during Auburn Job Fair

ASHLAND, ALABAMA (June 18, 2018) – Tru Cabinetry is looking to hire many of the
skilled workers displaced by the sudden closing last Tuesday of the MasterBrand
Cabinets plant in Auburn.

Butch Reimer, president of the Ashland-based semi-custom cabinet manufacturer, said
his growing company is looking forward to welcoming former MasterBrand workers to
the Tru Cabinetry family.

“Tru Cabinetry has seen tremendous market growth in recent years, and that means we
have a continued demand for additional talent to supply that growth. Adding industry
veterans to our team is another way we can expand on our promise to craft quality
cabinetry in the U.S.,” Reimer said.

To make the hiring process easier, Tru Cabinetry is partnering with the City of Auburn
and Auburn City Schools to take part in a job fair from 3-8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19 in
the Auburn Junior High School gym, 405 S. Dean Road.

Reimer said that those planning to attend the job fair should be prepared to fill out
applications and interview for available positions at Tru Cabinetry on the spot. He said
Tru is looking to fill positions across all departments, including engineers, supervisors,
accountants, and skilled cabinetry workers.
“We want these displaced workers to know that Tru Cabinetry has a new career for
them,” Reimer said. “Tru Cabinetry is focused on people, and we want to bring great
employees on board and build lasting career relationships with them.”

Tru Cabinetry, a brand of Tru-wood Cabinet Company, LLC is a rapidly-growing
manufacturer of high-quality, semi-custom cabinetry. Tru Cabinetry is headquartered in
Ashland, Ala. and currently has over 260 employees. It operates in over 370,000 square feet of top-of-the-line manufacturing and distribution space.

Single Vehicle Crash Claim Lives of Siblings

On May 27, 2018, the Ashland Police Department received a call about a wreck on Highway 9 South. An Ashland officer responded and found the vehicle near the intersection of Hwy 9 and 5th Ave. S. Some of the residents in the area was at the vehicle trying to extinguish the flames that had started.

the deadly crash occurred on this stretch of Hwy 9 in Ashland

Officer Hunter Griffin went over and gave one of the persons a fire extinguisher as he checked the driver, and passenger. Officer Griffin found that both of the people inside the car were deceased, and shortly after this the Ashland Fire Department arrived on the scene, as well as the Clay County Rescue Squad.

Rescue personnel confirmed that both occupants were deceased the clay County Coroner was notified, as well as the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’ State Troopers office, due to the fatalities.

James Thomas Clark and Jeffery Lynn Clark

After further investigation it was determined that both occupants were killed instantly, on impact. The driver was identified as James Thomas Clark,  of Ashland, age 52, and the passenger was identified as Jeffery Lynn Clark of Ashland, age 50. The family was notified of the two brothers deaths. This matter was being investigated by the ALEA Department of Public Safety, along with the Clay County Coroners Office.

The Nitty Gritty – Clay County News and Events