A former Houston County Sheriff’s deputy received a 30-year prison sentence Monday after he pleaded guilty to the manufacture and possession of meth.
Circuit Court Judge Kevin Moulton sentenced 36-year-old Michael Howard Spivey to the prison term Monday afternoon shortly after he pleaded guilty to felony second-degree manufacture of a controlled substance and felony unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Houston County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Spivey in May 2011 on a felony first-degree manufacturing charge and the felony unlawful possession of a controlled substance charge.
During court District Attorney Doug Valeska outlined the prosecution’s evidence, which included how the arrest came as a result of deputies finding Spivey asleep behind the steering wheel of a pickup truck at the gas pump of a closed gas station on U.S. 231 South.
Valeska said deputies found a variety of items used to make methamphetamine, including a packet of pseudoephedrine, a battery, scales, razor blades, syringes, lighter fluid among others inside the pickup truck.
Valeska also said deputies found and seized a .22-caliber gun from the passenger seat of the vehicle. The court ordered the gun condemned and turned over to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office as part of plea agreement.
“We have a large problem with meth. Here’s somebody who was contributing to society as a law enforcement officer, who got hooked on meth. It just goes to show how destructive meth is if you start using it,” Valeska said. “He had his chance on community corrections.”
Valeska also said Spivey had two prior felony drug convictions, both for unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Court records show Spivey was originally arrested in 2004 on the felony drug charges .
Valeska said Spivey pleaded guilty to both of those charges in 2006, and received a six-year prison sentence which was ordered to be served through work release and the Houston County Community Corrections program.
Spivey formerly served as a narcotics investigator at the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, where he had been employed for about five years before his resignation in 2004.
Spivey was later charged with felony escape from the work release program, but a Houston County jury acquitted him of that charge in 2011.
Attorney Derek Yarbrough, who represented Spivey in court, said if a jury had convicted his client of the original felony first-degree manufacturing meth charge he would’ve faced a mandatory life prison sentence by the court because of his two prior felony convictions.
“He was originally charged with manufacturing first and if convicted, he’d of gotten a life sentence so he decided to plead to manufacturing second, which is still a (lesser) class B felony,” Yarbrough said. “We were about to start openings and we resolved the case, with what I thought was the best resolution for everybody concerned.”