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Hartselle Enquirer

Wildlife sting results in felony indictments

By Staff
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
A local minister and another Hartselle man face up to two years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 if convicted of charges related to a sex sting at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge.
Rev. Gradson L. Tanner, 48, and Byron Roberts, 42, both of Hartselle were among those indicted last week in connection with the July sting at Wheeler.
Tanner, pastor at Salem United Methodist Church, was suspended by the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church shortly after the alleged incidents. He is charged with one felony count of knowingly engaging in sexual contact and one misdemeanor count of indecent exposure.
Roberts is charged with one count of forcibly assaulting or interfering with Federal Refuge Officers during official duty and one count of indecent exposure.
Both face a maximum of two years in prison on the felony charges and one year on the indecent exposure charges.
Roberts also faces a maximum one year in prison for the assault charges.
Both also face up to $250,000 in fines and would be requires to undergo supervision for one year upon release.
Arraignment on the charges is set for Oct. 12.
Misdemeanor charges were also levied against two other local men.
Walter Brannan, 47, of Hartselle and Jimmy Meares, 62, each face one misdemeanor count of indecent exposure and one count of public lewdness.