A federal judge in Texarkana granted bond Friday to two men allegedly in possession of 56 kilos of cocaine when they were stopped recently on an Arkansas highway.
Johnnie D. Adams, 37, and Curtis J. Troxtle, 34, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant in Texarkana on Friday morning for detention hearings to determine if they should remain in jail or be released on bond. The two men were arrested Oct. 29 following a traffic stop on Interstate 30 in Hempstead County.
Adams and Troxtle, both of Somerset, Kentucky, were pulled over for following too closely behind a semi-truck on Interstate 30 by Arkansas State Police. After being told that the car would be searched, Adams allegedly yelled, “We are mules and the car is loaded.”
Inside the Explorer officers recovered a suitcase and a duffel bag stuffed with 56 packages of cocaine weighing about 2.2 pounds each. The men allegedly told a member of the Drug Enforcement Agency that Adams rented the SUV after his private plane broke down in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The men allegedly admitted that they had made trips moving cash and drugs between McAllen, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan, on multiple occasions.
The men agreed Friday to a joint detention hearing. Texarkana attorney Cory Floyd called Kirsten Raisor to testify on Troxtle’s behalf.
Raisor said Somerset is a small Kentucky town of approximately 11,000 where she and Troxtle, her fiance, are raising Troxtle’s 12-year-old son. Raisor testified that Troxtle has been employed by U.P.S. for 14 years. Raisor testified that Troxtle drinks a beer with dinner and “he’s never used a drug in his life.”
Raisor also testified that Troxtle successfully completed a pre-trial diversion program in Kentucky after a misdemeanor arrest for driving while intoxicated. Under cross examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham Jones, Raisor testified that she was unaware that Troxtle was trafficking drugs with Adams.
“He said he was doing cabinet work,” Raisor testified.
Little Rock attorney John Wesley Hall called Johnnie Adams’ mother, Kim Adams, and Johnnie Adams’ wife, Beth Adams, to testify. Kim Adams said her son owns a granite business and has expanded to cabinetry work, as well. Kim Adams said her son’s “good name” is what has made the business a success.
Kim Adams said she and Johnnie Adams are estranged from Johnnie Adams’ father whom she said “hates us” and has convictions for drug trafficking.
Beth Adams said Johnnie Adams is a good father and serves as a father figure to a young nephew and denied knowing that he was using his private plane to traffic drugs.
Floyd and Hall argued that as life-long residents of Somerset, Kentucky, the men don’t present a flight risk. The attorneys pointed out the family members who traveled to be in court for the hearing as evidence of their support systems.
Floyd said Troxtle does not have a passport. Hall offered to turn over Adams’ passport and his pilot’s license.
Jones argued that possession of 125 pounds of cocaine does not amount to “your average drug case.” Jones said the men could be facing a mandatory minimum of 120 months, or 10 years in federal prison, based on the amount of drugs allegedly in their possesion.
“This was planned and protracted,” Jones argued.
Bryant agreed to release the men on $5,000 unsecured bonds. Both must be outfitted with GPS leg monitors and will be supervised by federal probation officials in Kentucky. Bryant told the men they are not to have any contact with each other and that they should only discuss the case with their lawyers.
Bryant told Adams he is not to pilot any aircraft. Jones said a search warrant has been acquired for Adams’ plane in Louisiana and that it is being seized by the government.
The case is expected to be presented to a grand jury in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas this month.