Selma Police Employees Under Investigation for Running Gun Mill Operation

19-year-old Ratravious Sanders accidentally killed his friend with one of the firearms stolen from the Selma Police Department. (Photo: WSFA)

State and federal investigators are looking into an illegal gun mill operation that was orchestrated by several current and former employees of the Selma Police Department.

“With the cooperation of Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms are conducting a joint investigation of current and former employees of the Selma Police Department,” said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall in a recent statement.

Last month, police discovered 200 firearms in a storage locker belonging to an evidence technician, identified as 34-year-old Adrianne Michelle Canterbury, and her husband, 43-year-old Richard Canterbury.

“What we found there was probably the largest stash of guns from a criminal perspective. It was a little overwhelming to see that amount,” Chief Collier told the Selma-Times Journal. “There may be others that weren’t [taken from evidence] but we’re trying to work that. The bulk were taken out of the evidence room.”

Adrianne is the suspected thief in the operation, her husband acted as a gunsmith, fixing the stolen firearms, and a third individual, 32-year-old Candice Ledbetter Byrum, listed them for sale online. All three are now facing criminal charges. Adrianne’s supervisor at the department, who has yet to be identified, was terminated. It’s not clear if that individual was involved in the operation.

“If there was ever a picture-perfect conspiracy case, this is it,” said Collier in a press conference last month.

“If [Alabama] had a racketeering statute, this would probably fit it. This is a criminal conspiracy, and more importantly, it’s a criminal organization that has carried out putting guns on the street.”

At least one of the firearms is connected to a homicide. Back in April, 19-year-old Ratravious Sanders was playing with a handgun he had obtained from Canterbury. The teen was in a car with three friends. The gun discharged and the projectile hit his friend, 19-year-old Rufus Williams, in the back killing him.

The joint investigation will involve an audit of the books, which according to Chief Collier haven’t been reviewed in 17 years.

“The joint investigation will include an audit of the police department’s evidence room in the wake of recent reports of missing items from the department’s vault,” said Marshall. I appreciate the assistance of Chief Collier who has provided complete access to the department’s records as we conduct our joint investigation into possible corruption and missing evidence.”

{ 64 comments… add one }
  • Mike in Maine June 12, 2017, 4:30 pm

    If the ATF and FBI are smart (hope does spring eternal ! ),the 1st thing they are going to do is take the RECOVERED S/N’S AND MATCH THEM UP with what ever records they can find from Selma’s Evidence Room that the weapon’s as being formally Destroyed, and not be so shocked when they find a huge mismatch. Then take the same S/N list and enter it into the NCIC’s Weapon’s Recovered Database, and see just how far this horror show goes back, and what body’s are tied to it. Something tells me that Alabama’s about to find a reason to charge FELONY MURDER ON THIS ONE, once the recovered weapon’s start turning up in all sort’s of place’s, not the least of which are going to be other Alabama PD’s own Evidence Vault’s. that have a now being-looked-body-count attached to it. A lot of Alabama, and other State’s, homicide’s are going to start clearing over this, and it’s not going to be pretty !

  • Charlie June 12, 2017, 2:11 pm

    Does anyone think that the history books will tell the truth.Oboma was the worst president that this country has ever had. Look at the way the story of MLK is told. I know what happened I lived those days.I know the truth. IT ANT BEING TOLD! LIES,LIES are what is told by historians. Holder and the fast and furious story will be covered up and sugar coated as well.

  • James M June 11, 2017, 10:09 am

    Few years back a local city PD was rumored to be selling the drugs that they confiscated. And that money that was confiscated also disappeared. Asheville NC PD not only was stealing the evidence. Selling the drugs. But this caused over 200 cases to be dismissed. Therefore allowing criminals to be set free. Funny how everything just went silent. And how officers ran to work for other jurisdictions. Anyone saying that law inforcement isn’t corrupt has not been in law enforcement. Every field has those that look out something for themselves, and willing to do anything it takes.

  • Wnston June 9, 2017, 9:12 pm

    Removing Confederate historical markers and monuments in the South was supposed to make the 2.3% of the US population that commits 54% of all violent crime not do these types of things.

    • Charlie J June 10, 2017, 12:28 pm

      Oh, come on, Winston. I’m sure those folks appreciate the historical cleansing of monuments. OK, they don’t show it, lol.

  • christopher scallio June 9, 2017, 7:07 pm

    Ill bet it even run deeper and higher than this. The DOJ is probably behind it along with the CIA.

  • R Forester June 9, 2017, 6:30 pm

    If they are found guilty punish them per the law. Now if someone would do the same to Eric Holder and the ATF people involved in ‘Fast and Furious’ we might believe in the justice system again. I won’t be holding my breath on that one.

    • Batman June 9, 2017, 7:47 pm

      Fuc*in A right pal! Eric holder should be castrated.

    • James M June 11, 2017, 9:53 am

      I have 0 faith in the justice system. From local, state, and federal. Doesn’t matter what you know, only who you know. I hope the elite find a way to push Trump from office. It will hopefully be the last crack that breaks the dam. The founding fathers of this county were being ruled and controlled by Politicians that did not hold to the laws given. Current day. We allow these same snakes to do as they please. Only thinking of themselves. Not being held accountable to the laws each of us are held to. How long are we going to lay down. This is America. We have never been like the rest of the world swallowing the injustices given us. When will we stand against the tyranny just as our ancestors did. Taking what is ours. Not accepting what little is left over.

      • Kerry Keel June 15, 2017, 11:29 am

        James M, your knowledge of history is BADLY flawed. Of their time, the Founding Fathers WERE the politicians that you rail against. President Trump has done more to benefit the country than anyone else has done. Making life easier for those who will not work, or think the country owes them a living is not going to make any country great. It becomes and is, a disease that eats out the goodness of the country. Looking to the government to provide a living for those that WILL not work, even though they can, eventually brings everyone down. What will the moochers do when there is no money, no free ride left, for them? They starve, they die, all the time being so self centered that they blame someone else for their own selfishness and stupidity. The Bible is right, if you do not work, you do not eat. Let those who think they are owed a living be the first to go without, because they are an unfair weight on the country. A hardship on others they should not exist. They all need to get a job, and support the country, rather than being a waste of time, money and food that could go to the truly needy people of the country. The able bodied that will not work, expecting to be given a living for doing nothing deserve getting nothing for any kind of support. If there are any snakes around, it is those that can work, but will not work, and expect the government to give them a living. Those people are the ones that deserve to be washed away.

  • Patrick McWilliams June 9, 2017, 3:45 pm

    Makes a good case for carrying an old but proven reliable Owl Head revolver. If the cops take it, you won’t be out much and might even get it back. Lose that Glock or SIG and you’ll never see it again.

    • Z June 9, 2017, 4:34 pm

      I’m curious so I’m going to ask. How the hell does a police officer stealing guns from the evidence lockup make a case for carrying one type of handgun or another?

  • Matt June 9, 2017, 1:34 pm

    Law enforcement in general in the state have a habit of confiscating any weapon they can find during any traffic stop. These weapons can be re-acquired if there are no criminal charges. But there is no voluntary effort on the part of law enforcement to return them. And the time and expense to re-acquire is often overwhelming. People just go out and buy another weapon. So I would imagine that there are a lot of confiscated weapons in the hands of law enforcement in the state. Someone found a way to make money off of it. And the rest of the books of all departments in the state should be audited to see if it is going on elsewhere.

    • Fly over state June 10, 2017, 5:54 pm

      June 3rd I was at a rally not to move the Confederate Veteran’s War Memorial out of Forest Park St. Louis, MO. An antifa punk removed some flowers from the Memorial so I obliged him to give them to me and I returned what was left back to the Memorial. Shortly after that I got into it with some Black Panther wannabe and got arrested for peace disturbance. I had a handgun down my britches so I told the cop immediately and I informed him I had a CCW. He said okay but I did not need a permit. He wanted to know if there was one in the chamber and I told him yes. They only held me about an hour then they cut me lose with a summons for the peace disturbance charge. There was a bunch of yahoos outside the police station so for some reason they had my son meet me at the Quick Trip on Kinshighway. When he showed up one of the cops wanted to put my gun in my truck and that was it. They had emptied the mag (they put all my ammo in a plastic bag with my other crap) that was in the gun which held seventeen but I had a back up mag and it was not unloaded. They were super cool and I really feel blessed to live in Missouri where we have Constitutional Carry. I had my CCW before it was passed but did not need it that day. They were super nice the entire time with my concealed 9mm which was loaded with 147 grain XTP Hornadays. The sad part for history is that a small group of special interest freaks got their way and the democrat mayor has started the disassembly process on the Memorial. If this small group of people were that dedicated to fighting crime St. Louis would be like Oz.

  • BRASS June 9, 2017, 11:56 am

    New Orleans police department has a history of improper, dishonest and criminal activity with confiscated, seized and recovered guns.
    Then again, New Orleans police department has a history of improper, dishonest and criminal activity… period.

    • AD June 9, 2017, 12:14 pm

      A track record of doing harm to the people. Remember that FAT deputy sheriff, wrestling a gun from an elderly woman. Her one chance to protect herself. And the idiots in charge determined it was better she die.

    • Rouge1 June 9, 2017, 1:18 pm

      Most all local and state police and sheriff departmentso do this. Looks like we need police police.

    • Pam Dunn June 9, 2017, 5:28 pm

      New Orleans PD; Isn’t THAT the department that had around 100 or more “officers” magically disappear never to be seen or heard of again during and after Katrina and New Orleans flooded? Wonder WHO was pocketing all those paychecks.

  • Chastran June 9, 2017, 10:56 am

    So, 19-year-old “Ratravious” Sanders was playing with a handgun, which discharged and the projectile hit his friend, 19-year-old “Rufus” Williams, in the back killing him. You can’t make this stuff up….

    • Z June 9, 2017, 4:35 pm

      Says the guy named, “Chastran”.

  • Dan June 9, 2017, 9:44 am

    With the examples being set by our “leaders”, this type of corruption is only going to get worse!

  • Dan June 9, 2017, 9:32 am

    The Chief and anyone else responsible for managing or supervising that department should have been fired as well. To get away with stealing that many firearms from a police evidence room requires collusion or incompetence on the part of those responsible for managing that department.

  • Jimbob3 June 9, 2017, 9:00 am

    I had a friend that was arrested in the early 90’s in Flowery Branch Georgia. He had several nice pistols. Several vanished from his home during the arrest. Some appeared on the arrest paperwork as confiscated. Others just went into the pockets of the arresting officers. This happens folks.

    • AD June 9, 2017, 12:19 pm

      Should have contacted the worthless BATFE and reported the THEFT and demanded action against corrupt officers.
      News Flash: I had a college friend in the 60’s whose uncle was a deputy sheriff for St. Louis. He became a Christian and had to quit his job because the ENTIRE DEPARTMENT was criminal in activity. I doubt that that swamp was ever cleared. So if you want to do something good, find a way to clear out the Sheriff Department in St. Louis Missouri As much like mafia as anything you have ever seen.

  • oldfuzz695 June 9, 2017, 8:47 am

    If Ala. has a RICO? This is bullshit. If any of these guns were sold across state lines, this becomes a Federal crime and they can take the clothes out of their closets.

    • Houston County June 9, 2017, 9:32 am

      Alabama does not have a RICO law. The case is being prosecuted federally. Learn to read.

      • Paul June 9, 2017, 11:34 am

        I guess they skipped the first two paragraphs where those facts were covered, LOL!

  • Don June 9, 2017, 8:41 am

    I haven’t kept up on such things around here in recent years but back in the 80’s I know that any ‘good’ guns disappeared from the evidence locker of the local police in the suburb of Kansas City where I lived. If a gun was stolen or confiscated and it was worth more than a couple hundred dollars, it was about a 75% chance that it would not get returned and it wouldn’t show up on their annual police auction. The good ones just evaporated. This is a smaller town, so they didn’t go through so many guns that 200 could disappear and not be noticed.

    • Z June 9, 2017, 4:39 pm

      The article does say there hasn’t been an audit for 17 years and exactly where did you get the actual number of firearms confiscated by that particular police department? Are you offering your unqualified opinion or referring to an undisclosed, verifiable statistic?

      • Paul Hillar June 9, 2017, 6:57 pm

        Third paragraph.

  • Joe June 9, 2017, 8:24 am

    Seems to me with the death of the young buck in the car charges of murder should be filed against all employees involved in the
    gun running racket .

    • Dan June 9, 2017, 9:39 am

      Yes, but there will be some higher level administrators with ties to the national political parties who could jeopardize that parties influence if exposed, so this will likely be swept under the rug with the “little people” who perpetrated the crime getting plea bargains, and the higher up saying they want to “move on from here, and concentrate on making this nation great again”!

  • Rob June 9, 2017, 7:02 am

    Change is not always a good thing! There are certain members of society who shouldn’t be in administration roles, every time you place African-Americans in high ranking positions they either go belly-up, due to fraud, theft, or ignorance, or they sell drugs and firearms out the back door! This is a reoccurring problem all over the United States! There is a gene missing in African Americans, no matter how long in a position, it will eventually appear! They can’t do these jobs, lack of education surfaces, fraud, theft, incompetence, they have no ethical gene, no integrity! Of course it’s not everyone, but the majority!

    • Dan June 9, 2017, 7:33 am

      …all the bad guys here are white, not black! Genes got nothing to do with it…greed is the driver.

      • Barry thomas June 9, 2017, 10:54 am

        Thank You for pointing that out to Mr racist

    • June 9, 2017, 7:37 am

      You’re playing right into the hands of those who like portray 2A supporters as a bunch of racists when it’s actually gun control laws that started out as a tool of racism and still are. Minority areas of big cities don’t just have the worst crime rates they have the very worst laws oppressing the rights of good and decent law-abiding people who live in those neighborhoods to defend themselves. And IMHO that’s as racist as you are.

    • Kazdagi June 9, 2017, 8:01 am

      You, sir, are an idiot racist.

      • kk June 9, 2017, 10:41 am

        you say that like its a bad thing!

    • ALL cops are CRIMINALS June 9, 2017, 8:13 am

      ALL cops are CRIMINALS. and ANY cop who rises through the ranks is DIRTY and is keeping secrets. Cops are predators who prey on AMERICAN CITIZENS!
      Black, white, red, green all good people, its the color BLUE that marks the MONSTER!

      • Chris Jones June 9, 2017, 10:42 am

        Just as stupid as the racist above.

        • DaveGinOly June 9, 2017, 7:35 pm

          The Constitution and Bill of Rights were written with the idea that a people’s government is always their worst potential enemy. Agents of the state should always be suspected of having goals that are inimical to freedom. That is the thought that made America.

      • Thomas Orlando June 9, 2017, 6:04 pm

        Isn’t that a lyric from “Sympathy for the Devil”?

    • Rollin Shultz June 9, 2017, 8:39 am

      Lack of education, says the guy who bases his case on some so-called scientific observation, but includes no references. You expect your comments to be taken seriously? If crime and a bent toward it was genetic or from lack of education then why are the most egregious crimes committed by educated white males such as Bernie Madoff and other Wall Street types who bilk millions out of their life savings? Crime is a moral problem. I would also venture to say it is a spiritual problem since a belief in God and the consequences of sin gives rise to communities where people have higher standards of self discipline.
      You did get one thing correct, crime is a recurring problem all over and much of that can be traced to the corruption of our educational system through teaching such things as situational ethics and that what is right is what is right for you at any given moment. I spoke out about this in the 1980s and predicted crime would rise vastly if the teaching was continued.

      • George June 9, 2017, 2:56 pm

        Have to disagree with you on Madoff; he bilked GREEDY people who couldn’t believe the returns they were getting because he was using their own money to pay them off while living the high life. Greedy people get scammed all the time because they fail to pay heed to the old adage of “if its too good to be true…”

        Your prediction from the 1980’s is BS too; crime has been on a downward spiral for many years, outside of the outliers like the big cities with corrupt leadership and ineffectual, oppressive gun laws. I will agree the educational ‘system’ in this country is pathetic which is why we homeschool.

        • srsquidizen June 10, 2017, 7:27 am

          Madoff victims were NOT all rich and greedy. Many were ordinary people who pooled money because it required a million$ minimum (“exclusivity” was part of Bernie’s “mystique”). With wages low and employer-funded pensions fast becoming extinct who wouldn’t want to get consistent, high returns on what little they can save for retirement?
          Working stiffs who had money with Madoff via investment firms really got screwed. They got very little or nothing from SIPC. BTW the returns were not “too good to be true” except to a few math geeks the SEC wouldn’t listen to. They were just better than similar funds, and nearly all experts thought Madoff’s team were simply real good hedge fund jocks. I know this is thread drift but you are totally off base calling them greedy people living the high life.

    • Russ June 9, 2017, 8:40 am

      You are brave to state such an assumption but I agree whole heartedly with it !!!

      • kk June 9, 2017, 10:43 am


      • Chris Jones June 9, 2017, 10:44 am

        Two racist idiots!

    • Cyrus June 9, 2017, 9:14 am

      Rob – Your a Fucking Idiot and probably Trailer Trash. I’m surprised that there weren’t any spelling mistakes!

    • Chris Jones June 9, 2017, 10:40 am

      You are fucking idiot and racist trash.

    • Z June 9, 2017, 4:44 pm

      You and your contrived, pseudo science. Does your entire family carry the, “racist sack of shit” gene or are you an aberration?

      • Wnston June 9, 2017, 9:19 pm

        Unique to theAmerican the an neo-liberal to be calling people racists who point out minority criminality.

    • Paul Hillar June 9, 2017, 7:01 pm

      Hmmm, every one of the guys involved in selling guns out the back door of “The Outdoor Store” (now closed) in Coos Bay, OR., as well as being involved in a huge poaching ring, WERE WHITE! Something to chew on!

  • iceman June 9, 2017, 6:17 am

    I think that goes on in most police stations to an extent.

  • Irondoor June 9, 2017, 6:15 am

    Didn’t need to see his either after learning his name.

  • singleshotcajun June 9, 2017, 5:42 am

    17 years with no review, extreme lack of oversight. Lots of blame to go around on this one. Just as we support Police Officers they should also be held to a higher standard and go down harder when one crosses over to the wrong side.

    • Mak-Attack June 9, 2017, 12:48 pm

      You’re absolutely right! -doesn’t this story remind you of “Fast and Furious??” -where the government took guns that were supposed to be destroyed &sold them to the Mexican drug cartels instead. Then a border guard was killed with one of the guns… &evryone claimed ignorance & nobody’s head rolled when the shit hit the fan. O’bama should have fired his attorney general at least. &he clearly Knew about it or he would have fired someone…

      • Dudley Do right June 9, 2017, 2:17 pm

        Humm, Fast and Furious? I think that was a movie, not for real. Yea, Obama should have fired the actor but maybe he didn’t see the movie? Oh, if you haven’t heard Obama is no longer president. Some folks on here say the stupidist things! But it’s entertaining reading. Many have seemed to have slipped through crack when it comes to education and common sense.

        • Z June 9, 2017, 4:47 pm

          Dudley, it’s a reference to a. Red headline of an actual scandal that took place during the Obama administration. No, the President didn’t personally oversee the operation. It was a stupid idea, poorly executed, to track illegal weapons sales to drug cartels. Do some research before you rant.

        • Pam Dunn June 9, 2017, 5:39 pm

          NO STUPID;
          It was NOT a movie it was OBAMA’s BATFE FORCING law abiding FFL’s to SELL firearms to people WHO COULD NOT pass the background checks and were buying multiple firearms. The BATFE LOST TRACK of those firearms once they reached the border and HAVE turned up at the sites of numerous GANG RELATED Killings in Mexico and the Death of one of our Border Patrol Agents. Note too that the DRUG LORD recently arrested and sent to the USA for prosecution had in HIS possession a 50 Caliber firearm acquired with that failed asinine Obama policy. You ARE RIGHT that no heads rolled, no one resigned over the idiocy. A similar program under BUSH had tracking devices installed in them and was QUITE effective UNTIL the Cartels learned about the devices and at that time the program was immediately ended.

          Speaking of saying “Stupid things” go take a look in the mirror at one idiot spewing nonsense..

  • NoirNiut June 9, 2017, 4:56 am

    The main perpetrator, Adrianne Michelle Canterbury, is white, why not her picture?

    • RetNavet June 9, 2017, 6:02 am

      Point taken, but I must say I like the name Rufus far more than Ratavious.

    • Robert Queberg June 9, 2017, 6:19 am

      She had to get her hair done first.

    • Jpw June 9, 2017, 7:15 am

      What does color have to do with anything? Are you a racist or something?

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