May bench trial set for Centralia businessman charged with selling drugs

MARION COUNTY — A 43-year-old Walnut Hill man is scheduled for a May 5 and 6 bench trial in the 2013 case charging him with selling synthetic drugs from his Centralia retail business.

The trial against Kelly Alexander has been delayed multiple times over the last three years, but Marion County Resident Judge

Kelly Alexander (Courtesy MCSO)
Kelly Alexander
(Courtesy MCSO)

Mark Stedelin denied defense motions in the case Wednesday that sought to suppress evidence, allowing the case to move forward to trial.

In May 2013, Alexander was arrested after 475 packages of synthetic cannabis were allegedly found in his business, Biggies Café and General Store, during execution of a search warrant.

He is also charged in connection with an earlier raid on his businesses in 2011, as well as with synthetic drugs allegedly found in a voluntary search of a truck trailer and former warehouse building in Centralia.

Alexander is charged with two Class X felonies for manufacture with the intent to deliver more than 200 grams of a controlled substance in connection with the December 2011 bust, one count Class 3 felony unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance for alleged residue of a synthetic drug found in a large mixing bowl located in the search the warehouse; and one count Class 2 felony distribution of a synthetic or misbranded drug.

Bail for Alexander was set at $250,000 and his wife – also named Kelly Alexander – posted $25,000 cash to secure his release.