BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A 37-year-old Bessemer man charged under the “Kingpin” statute was sentenced to life in prison by a federal judge.

Rolando Antuain Williamson, also known as “Baldhead” and “Ball Head,” was sentenced to life in prison plus 120 months for leading a multi-million dollar continuing criminal enterprise; conspiring to distribute or possess with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana; distributing or possession with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana; using, carrying, or possessing a firearm during or in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and using a communication facility to commit a drug trafficking crime.

A total of 18 people were charged in the indictment returned on October 29, 2019.

The North Alabama Safe Streets Task Force arrested Williamson the morning of August 22, 2019, in the parking lot of a grocery store located in Homewood, Alabama. At the time of arrest, he was armed with two loaded pistols, additional loaded magazines, and was carrying almost $14,000 in cash. All other members of the conspiracy were arrested on or about November 13, 2019.  

At the time of Williamson’s arrest, law enforcement officers seized from him and three of his stash houses, 366 grams of heroin/fentanyl, 109 grams of suspected cocaine, 573 grams of pure methamphetamine, 52 kilos of marijuana, over $97,000 in cash, multiple firearms, and over 1700 rounds of ammunition.

“Great job by the investigators. These criminals were responsible for a major amount of drugs flowing through Jefferson County.  These convictions are huge in our fight against illegal drugs,” Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway said in a statement.

“First, I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to all agencies involved in the investigation and ultimate convictions of those involved in this major drug distribution criminal enterprise. This is an example of what can be accomplished when agencies work together. It is our hope that these convictions will send a strong message to others that are committing or thinking about committing like crimes in Bessemer and surrounding areas. The Bessemer Police Department will remain committed to working with our Federal, State and local Law Enforcement partners to apprehend and convict other drug traffickers that attempt to operate in the City of Bessemer and surrounding areas,” said Bessemer Police Chief Michael Roper.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service investigated the case along with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Bessemer Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan S. Cross and Gregory R. Dimler prosecuted the case.