Shoals Insider owner arrested on felony charge

By  | April 6, 2018 | Filed under: News

TUSCUMBIA – Jeffrey Lane Roland, the publisher of Shoals Insider, made bond today after spending 2 nights in Colbert County Jail on felony charges. According to Sheriff Frank Williamson, Roland has been charged with Theft of Property, a Class B Felony, for allegedly promising to remove a person’s arrest records from local websites including The Quad-Cities Daily.

The arrest was the culmination of an investigation, according to Williamson, that began on April 3rd when a person who had been arrested made a complaint that Roland promised to take their booking photo and information relating to the arrest from all websites and The Hard Times tabloid newspaper, among other websites in Alabama. Sheriff Williamson told us, “He was arrested during a sting operation involving a former inmate’s family that he had made promises to keep their family member’s mug shot out of websites, the Hard Times paper and  State wide websites.” Williamson further told The Quad-Cities Daily that Roland allegedly wanted $300 for the service, but since the person could only come up with $220, that would be enough. Williamson said that Roland subsequently asked the person for $250 more. And, according to the Sheriff, that’s when they filed the complaint. The Sheriff indicated that during the post-arrest interview, Roland implicated The Quad-Cities Daily as a knowing participant in the scheme.

Roland was arrested on Wednesday, April 4th and spent 2 nights in jail.

Williamson told this reporter that Roland implicated The Quad-Cities Daily in this event as a beneficiary to some of this hush money. He said that his investigators saw no merit to this accusation.

According to reports in a local police-oriented blog, Pen N SWORD, “Roland is the owner and publisher of the Shoals Insider, an on-again/off-again publication specializing in local news. Roland has previous arrests in Colbert County for Driving under the Influence of Illicit Drugs and arrests in Florence for Possession of Illegal Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.”

Another local blog, SHOALANDA SPEAKS (The contributors of this blog are unknown to The Quad-Cities Daily) had this to say about Roland, “Competition didn’t seem to be Jeff’s only problem; posts to the SI became more infrequent, and attorneys regularly contacted us to ask if we could provide a physical address for the site’s publisher. We couldn’t.  Posts in the SI declined still further, and rumors of problems in Jeff’s personal life were rampant. We won’t address here any rumors that we cannot substantiate; Roland told us himself that he had gone through a vindictive divorce, and that events from a few years ago had taken a toll on him. Posts ultimately stopped completely in the Shoals Insider. Our readers no longer even asked us about the publication. Certainly everyone thought that it was dead…and buried. We don’t know where Jeff Roland was during the SI’s long hiatus. Along with emotional problems stemming from his divorce, he mentioned problems with medications for diabetes.”

Roland was released this morning from jail on a $750 bond.

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