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Snitch pays dearly for ill-gotten gain

Finds stealing, lying about it doesn't sit well with judge

It's official - Sidney Douglas Adams is a liar.

So declared U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips on Thursday when he slapped Adams with a nearly 13-year prison term in large part because Adams snatched 1,000 pounds of marijuana from his drug-dealing boss, sold it, spent some of the cash and hoarded the rest, all while claiming to be a truthful federal informant.

"The defendant has admitted to obstructing justice and in the court's opinion is continuing to obstruct justice," Phillips said. "Simply stated, Mr. Adams, I don't believe you."

Adams could have spent as little as 42 months behind bars for his role in a pot-peddling venture involving tons of the illegal weed and headed up by Jefferson County man Jeremy Robbins.

That's because he agreed to cooperate with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agents Dave Lewis and Michael Davis and testify against Robbins.

One of the key things Adams agreed to testify about was the apparent disappearance of at least 1,000 pounds of pot that had been stashed in a barn. Adams contended Robbins ordered him to move it to keep raiding law enforcers from finding it. Adams said he later returned it to the same barn, where Robbins' wife told him someone would be picking it up.

Turns out, that account was a big fat lie.

Adams sold the dope and was busy along with his wife spending the nearly half-million in proceeds until the agents learned of his lie, Lewis has testified.

Eventually, Adams drew the agents a map of various cash stash sites on his property where he had hidden $128,000 in military ammunition boxes tucked away in crawlspaces or buried in his yard.

Lewis has testified that Adams has never fully come clean about his pot sales and where all that cash went. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugh Ward had argued at an earlier hearing that Adams' lies should net him extra prison time for obstructing justice and take away any shot Adams once had at earning a break from the mandatory minimum 10-year punishment he faced.

At the start of Thursday's hearing, Phillips announced he had decided to take from Adams any sentencing breaks afforded him as a reward for his snitch work.

Defense attorneys Ralph Harwell and Tracy Jackson Smith then tried to convince the judge that Adams, now contrite over his subterfuge, should spend no more than a decade behind bars.

Ward disagreed.

"This is a very aggravated situation," Ward said. "Mr. Adams is sorry because he got caught. He's not sorry because he had an epiphany."

Robbins' father-in-law last year fatally shot Robbins' wife's former in-laws and wounded her ex-husband at the Field of Dreams park in Jefferson County where children, including Robbins' stepson, had been playing baseball. The father-in-law also wound up dead in the fracas.

Jamie Satterfield may be reached at 865-342-6308.

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