TEXARKANA, Texas–Four new defendants have been added to a case that began in the spring with the indictment of a local man who allegedly had 500 fake opioid prescription pills containing fentanyl stashed beneath his kitchen sink.
At a detention hearing on March 1 in Texarkana’s downtown federal building, federal investigators said that the arrest of Darrell Montrell “Monty” Trotter, 33, probably saved lives.
After the hearing where supporters of Trotter’s filled the seats, retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven refused to let him out of custody. She cited an ongoing threat to the local community when announcing her decision.
Trotter has since been joined by four others in a superseding indictment that was unsealed on Wednesday per an order from U.S. Magistrate Judge James Boone Baxter in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division.
The superseding indictment accuses Trotter of conspiring to distribute fentanyl and meth since at least 2019 with a death resulting from the alleged drug dealing in June of this year. The alleged victim is identified as “D.S.” and as having perished on June 12.
The superseding indictment unsealed on Wednesday but filed in October, accuses four others in the case.
Christopher Kyle Candelaria, aka, “Candyman,” 32, was arraigned on Wednesday before Judge Baxter in Texarkana, He waived the issue of detention and is currently in custody.
Kolton Todd Saulsbury, 34, appeared for arraignment Nov. 2 before Baxter. He pleaded not guilty and was released Nov. 4 on a $10,000 unsecured appearance bond following a detention hearing.
Nickie Jo Mattison, 32, also known as Nickie Hall, was in front of Judge Baxter on Nov. 2. She waived the detention issue and remains in custody. Courtney Lewis, 27, was in front of Judge Baxter on Nov.3. He pleaded not guilty and waived a detention hearing.
All of the defendants named in the superseding indictment are charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and meth resulting in a death and with carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
The government is seeking a $3 million judgment against the defendants as well as their forfeiture of a number of firearms seized in 2021. The guns include a handgun, three rifles and ammunition seized in March 2021, and a pistol, 12-gauge shotgun, rifle and ammunition seized on Dec. 14, 2021, according to the superseding indictment.
If found guilty of conspiracy to distribute the drugs with a death resulting, the defendants face a 20-year minimum with up to life in federal prison possible, as well as a fine up to $10 million.
If found guilty of carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, they could see sentences of five years to life in federal prison which must be served consecutively to any term imposed for the underlying crime
Trials are tentatively set in the case for next year before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.