A Tuscaloosa man described as a career criminal has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for trafficking crack cocaine while armed with a firearm.

U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Explosives, and Firearms Special Agent in Charge Mickey French announced the sentencing of 43-year-old Clemmie Lee Spencer in a Wednesday news release.

The 25-year sentence was handed down by Chief United States District Judge L. Scott Coogler.

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The sentencing follows a 2019 raid at a home on 28th Street in Tuscaloosa in which agents allegedly seized over 60 grams of “crack” cocaine, 17 grams of marijuana, cash, three loaded firearms, assorted ammunition and digital scales.

At the time of the raid, Spencer already had several prior felony convictions, including a 2006 conviction for trafficking marijuana that carried a 10-year prison sentence.

He was released early by the Alabama Department of Corrections in December 2010, though, and three months later was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana packaged for sale.

The 2010 arrest led to a 2012 conviction and Spencer was sentenced to 36 months of home confinement, but that was soon suspended in favor of three years of probation, during which he was reportedly "a repeated violator" of his probation.

Spencer was also arrested in 2014 on charges of the second-degree rape of a teenager and sex abuse of a 9-year-old, but those were later dismissed in 2018 when the alleged victims' family stopped cooperating with investigators and prosecutors.

After the 2019 raid, a grand jury in the Northern District of Alabama indicted Spencer in November 2020 for possession with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A jury trial began in March 2021, and Spencer voluntarily pleaded guilty a few days into those proceedings. His 25-year prison sentence, announced Wednesday, is in connection that that guilty plea.

U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona said reducing crime is a top priority of her office and thanked prosecutors for removing repeat offenders out of communities.

"Spencer repeatedly ignored the law, and today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of his crimes," Escalona said.

Author's note: The image attached is a stock photo and is not connected to drugs or guns that were reportedly seized during Spencer's arrests.

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