FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2016
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Page 1 of 2
AG LUTHER STRANGE ANNOUNCES CONVICTION
IN LAUDERDALE COUNTY FOR TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced the conviction
yesterday of a Florence man for tampering with physical evidence in another case
involving multiple charges of human trafficking and other crimes. Reginald Brett
Mitchell, age 52, pleaded guilty in Lauderdale County Circuit Court to the Class A
misdemeanor and was sentenced to 12 months. The sentence was split so that Mitchell
is set to serve 11 months in the Lauderdale County Detention Facility after he serves 12
months of probation.
The charges arise from a criminal investigation into allegations against Florence
attorney Edward Ray “Chip” Dillard. During this investigation, Mitchell was developed
as a potential witness. While waiting to testify to a Lauderdale County grand jury and
after having been interviewed about his knowledge of relevant information by Attorney
General’s Special Agents, Mitchell began deleting text messages from his telephone.
Those messages were related to the investigation of Dillard.
“The integrity of our criminal justice system requires that evidence must be
preserved and protected, and anyone who destroys or tampers with it must be held to
account,” said Attorney General Strange.
Charges are pending against Dillard, 52 , for one count of human trafficking in the
first degree, seven counts of human trafficking in the second degree, four counts of
conspiracy to commit human trafficking in the second degree, one count of sexual abuse
in the second degree, two counts of making terroristic threats, one count of intimidating
a witness, one count of bribing a witness, two counts of destruction of evidence in an
Attorney General’s investigation, and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.
Another defendant, Timothy Wylie Staggs, 84, faces related charges of two counts of
human trafficking in the first degree, six counts of human trafficking in the second
degree, and four counts of conspiracy to commit human trafficking in the second degree.
No trial date is set.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.state.al.us Page 2 of 2
Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorneys General Bill Lisenby
Jr. and John Kachelman III of his Criminal Trials Division, and Special Agents of his
Investigations Division. He thanked the Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office,
the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, the Florence Police Department, the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, the Lawrence County Drug Task Force, the Lauderdale County
Drug Task Force and the Colbert County Drug Task Force for their assistance in the
investigation and arrest in this case.