Local man sentenced to 7 years in Arkansas drug case

Curtis J. Troxtle

More than a year after they pleaded guilty, one of the Somerset men caught transporting 56 kilos of cocaine through Arkansas back in October 2018 has been sentenced in federal court.

Curtis J. Troxtle, 35, appeared Monday in the United States District Court's Western District of Arkansas and was sentenced to a total of 84 months -- 24 months for Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and 60 months for Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, to be served consecutively.

He was additionally assessed a $200 fine.

Troxtle and his co-defendant, 39-year-old Johnnie D. Adams, were set to stand trial in on the charges from an October 29, 2018, traffic stop. However, the trial was canceled after Troxtle pleaded guilty on January 23, 2020. Adams followed suit a month later.

As reported at the time in the Magnolia Reporter (Ark.), Troxtle was driving and Adams was a passenger in a Ford Explorer which allegedly had been following a semi too closely as they traveled east on I-30 in Hempstead County, Arkansas. Both men indicated they had flown from Kentucky in Adams' private plane and were driving home because it broke down. Ultimately a K-9 unit alerted to possible narcotics in the vehicle. When State Trooper Bernard Pettit informed the men he had probable cause to search the Explorer, Adams reportedly told him they were "mules and the car is loaded."

DEA Special Agent Matthew Newcomb wrote in his criminal complaint against the pair that authorities found 32 wrapped packages of packages of suspected cocaine -- weighing around 1 kilogram each -- inside a suitcase and another 24 kilo-sized packages inside a duffel bag. Upon their arrest, according to the complaint, both men admitted to federal DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agents that they had transported cash and drugs between Detroit, Michigan, and McAllen, Texas, in Adams' plane on multiple occasions.

At Troxtle's sentencing, U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey allowed the defendant credit for time served in federal custody and recommended to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons that he be assigned to facilities either in Lexington or Manchester "so that he can be close to his family."

Upon release from imprisonment, Troxtle will be on supervised release for a term of five years.

Sentencing information for Adams was not available at press time.

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