A decorated U.S. Army Iraq War veteran turned United States Postal Service employee pleaded guilty Thursday to two federal charges relating to a conspiracy to send 1,400 pounds of marijuana through the mail.
Lydrell Dondre Nettles entered a guilty plea inside a Huntsville federal courtroom after prosecutors offered him a deal and recommended minimum sentencing guidelines be followed to Judge Liles Burke.
WAAY 31 was the only media outlet inside the courtroom covering the major case.
According to court records, Nettles used his position as a public official to accept a bribe and was involved in a conspiracy to send the marijuana through the mail. Nettles also admitted his intent to distribute in the conspiracy under the guilty plea.
In 2013, Nettles was added to the Madison County Military Hall of Heroes. His name is listed on the wall inside the Madison County Courthouse and indicates he received several military honors, including a Purple Heart.
Court documents do not indicate any co-conspirators named in the case, but WAAY 31 has confirmed the investigation continues and more arrests are expected.
Nettles could have faced more than 40 years in federal prison and millions of dollars in fines if not for the plea deal with the government. He’s out on bond with formal sentencing scheduled for February 2022.
WAAY 31 reached out to the USPS for comment on the case, but they have not responded yet.