|John Fisher Jr.|
(From Tuscaloosa News)
The bail bondsman received a visit from Christopher Shane Rushing, who left a backpack in the bonding company's office. That raised the bondsman's suspicions, and they raised even more when he noticed the backpack contained items used to make meth, according to a report at The Tuscaloosa News.
The bondsman contacted law enforcement, sparking a complicated series of events that led to the arrest of Rushing and attorney John L. Fisher. At one point in the proceedings, Fisher held a gun at his office, in the presence of drug task force agents. Did that play a role in his arrest? We aren't sure.
Due to the convoluted nature of events, I will run the entire T-News article below and hope readers can figure it out. If you are like me, you probably will have more questions when you finish than when you began. Part of that is due to the way the newspaper chose to report the story. For the record, the T-News has a subscription site, so that means a limited number of people can see this coverage. Hopefully, we are doing a public service by including the full article here:
Meth bust details released
Court records say bail bondsman called police
Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 9:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 9:22 p.m.
A bail bondsman who feared he was being set up called drug agents, sparking the investigation that led to the arrest of a Tuscaloosa attorney accused of meth trafficking.
The bondsman called the commander of the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force Friday and reported that Christopher Shane Rushing had left a backpack at his office, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
He had opened the bag and noticed that it contained items used to make methamphetamine, according to files.
The bondsman then spoke with a lieutenant who arranged for narcotics officers to observe the bonding company on T.Y. Rogers Avenue. Afterward, he called attorney John Fisher's office to tell him about the bag, and that he suspected he was being set up, according to the court documents.
Agents watching the business saw Fisher arrive and later leave with the bag. They followed him to his office, and saw as Rushing later arrived. Rushing placed the backpack in his car and went back into the office, according to the court filing.
The agents confronted Rushing when he later left the law office and met a woman in the parking lot. They searched the bag and found 369 grams of meth oil, digital scales with meth residue, a bag of meth, lithium batteries, baggies and straws with meth residue. Agents went to speak with Fisher, who met them at the back door of the law office with a pistol in his hand.
Both men were arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Rushing faces additional counts of manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.
Fisher has practiced law in Tuscaloosa for nearly 20 years after earning his degree from The University of Alabama School of Law in 1997. He ran for the Alabama House of Representative District 63 seat in 2010, but was defeated by Rep. Bill Poole in the Republican primary.
A few questions that come quickly to mind:
(1) Why would anyone take drug paraphernalia to a bail bondsman's office, and why would he let it out of his control?
(2) Why was Rushing visiting the bail bondsman? Does he have a pending criminal matter? Does he have a criminal history. (Answer: Yes, and we will have more on that in an upcoming post.)
(3) Why did the bondsman place a call to Fisher? Had Fisher represented Rushing in a criminal matter? IF so, what were the charges?
(4) Why was Fisher holding a pistol when he greeted agents at the door to his office? Did that play a role in his arrest? Was he hit with a gun charge? If not, why not?
(5) Who was the woman that Rushing met in the parking lot? Why wasn't she been arrested? Will she be among the others expected to be arrested?
(6) Did agents search Fisher's office, and if so, did they find something that caused them to file trafficking charges against him? This account provides little evidence that Fisher was involved in trafficking.
(7) Why did the T-News omit certain details from its story? What is the bondsman's name, and what company does he work for? What is the lieutenant's name?
(8) Was the newspaper careful with certain details because it fears lives could be in danger? If that's the case, does it mean Fisher and Rushing are small pieces in a larger ring that includes some nasty individuals?