More than 10 years ago, Michael “M&M” Moore was busted in a drug raid by the Detroit police department. In order to avoid prosecution for some drive-by shootings he committed, M&M exchanged valuable information about the 19th street posse for his freedom. The information lead to the arrest of fifteen key members of El Coya, the largest drug gangs in South Michigan. Later after the trial, he moved back to central Alabama to escape being killed by the street gang he double crossed. M&M left Detroit with over 12 kilograms of Colombian white cocaine and one hundred and ninety-seven thousand dollars. Because most of his family still lived in the Marion, Michael built a very large house in Lincoln Heights, a largely rural housing addition out on Highway 5.
Because of his experience selling drugs in the big city, taking over the small unorganized drug trade in Marion was easy. Three days after arriving, he flooded Marion, Greensboro and Uniontown with his product. Six months later, he assumed control of his family’s small drug enterprise and develop it into one of the largest and ruthless illegal enterprises in the history of Alabama. Use to a life of violence, drugs, guns and other gang-related activities, the 35-year-old quickly became the king of Pickens Hill, the known drug area in Marion. Soon, the family influence grew and they operated a total of twelve of the known sixteen crack houses in Marion. The Moore’s family story is not uncommon in rural Perry County, where only five deputies patrol 2,700 square miles each day. The small towns in the county have their own police departments, but they are very small, short on manpower and firepower. Since last January, Chief Hogan investigated five gang-related homicides and more than 30 drug-related drive-by shootings.
Some people say that it started the day after the police station was destroyed; however, it had already picked up steam by then. Jackson Walker and his family owned and operated three crack houses on Schwann Drive, Beverly Place, and Columbia Street northeast of Yakima Steel mill. The Walker/Graham family worked in the area since 1958 when Oscar made and sold moonshine from the family farm. However three years ago, as crack infiltrated the small town, the family decided to delve into the illegal enterprise. Six months before the police station was destroyed, Jackson’s trailer was shot up in a retaliatory drive-by shooting. An angry member of the Moore family shot nine rounds into a singlewide trailer with nine people sleeping inside, including an infant. Because of the rise in violence, the Walker family prepared to take the law into their own hands. Jackson called Turley Graham, his first cousin from Fort Wayne, for assistance. A few days later, three suburban full of heavily armed members of the Walker/ Graham family drove to Marion and set up camp out at the Walker’s farm.
With the police out of the way for a while, the drug dealers and other criminals went to work taking over the small town. Six months later, Dennis Moore caught Jackson Walker on the corner of Washington and Smith Street selling crack. This time, Dennis allegedly beat him up pretty badly, stomped and kicked him until he lay unconscious in the street; sodomized him with a pool stick in the alley on Smith Street, and left Jackson for dead. He stayed in Marion General Hospital for four days from four broken ribs and concussion received during the beating. Three days after being released from the hospital; just sixteen days after Dennis twenty-fifth birthday, Jackson shot him seven times as he sat in his brand new Malibu talking to a girl in front the pool hall. Dennis Moore’s bullet riddle body slumped over the steering wheel. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crime. That is when an all out drug war erupted.
The lead suspect in the slaying of Dennis was Jackson Walker. Dennis brother, Michael was killed next when Kendrick Walker, Beatrice and Cedric Graham and two others intercepted him as he arrived home from one of his crack houses. They executed Michael and his family, including three children and his mother in law. They broke into the house; using 9mm Glock guns with silencers, they opened fire as the family slept, then pummeled the bloodstained house with eight Molotov cocktails, setting it on fire. After burying the charred remains of their family, fifteen members of the Moore clan drove out to the Walker family farm on Lakeland road.
The Walker farm was targeted for a specific reason. This was the main compound of the large family ran drug enterprise. The main house was built on a large open area about two miles inside the largely wooded farm. However, this shooting was not just some random act. The shootings lasted about 30 minutes, ending about 1:45 p.m. About eight miles away from town, three hundred and fifty seven shots were fired at the two-story brick house on the farm, blasting through a first-floor window and punching holes in the bricks of the house. Oscar Graham, the patriarch of the family, was killed while reading in the living room. He was the only person that was killed because he was the only one at home at the time.
After burying Grandpa Oscar, the Walker Family struck back hard about 1:30 a.m. the next week. They ran a propane truck through the front door of Ingrid Moore’s house on a tree-lined stretch of North Latimer Avenue. Once the truck entered the home, it exploded killing Ingrid, his wife and his son. One home on Marion Junction Court and one on Wilbert Court were also targeted. In all, seven homes own or operated by the Moore family were hit. Ten members of the Moore family were killed along with seven from the Walker family. The killings continued through out the summer. The total body count was fifty seven; the highest ever record number of murders in the three month span of summer.
In an emergency effort to again bring law and order to the small town, Perry County sheriff department lent Marion police department several deputies to help out until they could recover. However, by the time the county commission approved the emergency measure, Marion’s drug war was in full swing. Nightly for nineteen long months, the scared residents of Marion were awakened by gunfire and explosions as the feuding families fought for control of Marion. Because of this on going drug war, almost every major member of the Moore and Walker family in Marion was killed, badly injured, or, soon, on the way to prison. By June of the next year, crack cocaine completely disappeared from the streets of Marion and the war ended as abruptly as it had started. This unexpected absence proved to be very beneficial for Randall and his marijuana sells. The sells skyrocketed and he quickly sold over one hundred pounds of weed in just six months. Because Purple Kush was the only illegal drug in town, he quickly became the king of Pickens Hill.
Before the drug war started, Randall decided to stop smoking crack to get his shattered life and health together. Because the infamous Moore/Walker drug war wiped out every crack business in Marion, he successfully overcame his habit. He moved in with Bobbie for a while and started picking up weight. Later, they married and purchased a small house. The three bedroom house sat on five lots in the corner of Pickens and Juniper Streets in the rural Perry County town. The lots sat on the very top of what officially was known as Pickens Hill. He also purchased a nice Dodge Ram 1500 truck. One year after finding the twenty bales of weed, Randall now lived very comfortably and continued to control a large portion of the marijuana traffic in Marion and Perry County. When the Purple Kush sells went through the roof, the stash quickly dwindled. With only four bales remaining and desperately searched for a way to get more to keep his thriving enterprise going, he checked with few dealers in Birmingham. They had some Purple Kush, but they could not sell him the quantity or quality he need. After some convincing, one of the dealers finally agreed to introduce Randall to a good connection in New Orleans. Four weeks later, a white Bentley appeared on the Pickens Hill and parked in the dive way of Bobbie’s trailer.
‘Shut up, Bear,’ Randall yelled at the golden brown bit bull dog sitting on the front porch. The dusty white car stopped and a tall African American male stepped out of the driver’s door and approached the porch. Shoving his hand in his coat pocket and wrapping his fingers around the cold steel of the thirty eight, Randall firmly stepped off the porch and greeted the man half way. ‘How you doing? You must be Mr. Riggers.’ Not waiting for the man to answer, Randall took his empty hand out of the brown Carthart jacket and firmly shook the man’s half extended hand.
A person hiding up on the hill peered through the high power binoculars and states, ‘He looks familiar.’
Scott leaned his head to the side and took another look at Randall. Scott replied, ‘No, sir, he’s still in the car. I’m Scott. Before you can meet him, I’ll need for you to surrender the thirty eight you have in your right jacket pocket. I also need the twenty two that’s strapped to your leg.’ Surprised that the man knew exactly what he had and where, Randall reluctantly surrendered the weapons and the two men approached the white car.
He continued to stare through the binoculars at him as if trying to read his mind. ‘This guy’s face is familiar,’ he repeated to himself.
The rear door of the car slowly opened and Frank Riggers stepped out and forcefully shook Randall’s hand. ‘Hi, I am Frank Riggers. I drove five hours to this hick town to do business. Now, let’s do business.’ Immediately, the trunk pops open and the three men walked around to the rear of the Bentley. Scott easily lifted the large suitcase out of the open trunk and placed it on the picnic table. ‘So how much do you need and how often,’ Frank question as he sat in the folding chair he retrieved from the trunk. Seconds later, Randall purchased the three hundred pounds of Purple Kush and scheduled another delivery for six months later.
Chief Hogan’s new Ford Expedition police cruiser slowly pulled out of the hiding spot over looking Bobbie’s trailer and drives to the newly built station. He said to himself again, ‘He looks familiar.’