A man who was arrested with 56 kilograms of cocaine by Arkansas State Police in 2018 pleaded guilty to two felonies Thursday in a Texarkana federal court.
Curtis Troxtle, 34, and Johnnie Adams, 38, were arrested on the afternoon of Oct. 29, 2018, on Interstate 30 in Hempstead County, Ark., with 56 kilos of cocaine, according to a criminal complaint in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas. Troxtle pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey. Adams is scheduled to plead Feb. 21.
Troxtle pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of cocaine and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Adams is facing the same charges.
The men, both from Somerset, Kentucky, were transporting the drugs from south Texas to Detroit, Michigan, according to the complaint. When Adams’ private plane broke down in Louisiana, the men rented a car.
The Ford Explorer they were driving was 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 and that they were paid thousands of dollars for each trip.
Troxtle was taken into federal custody Thursday. He will be scheduled for sentencing at a future date.
Both men face 10 years to life in prison for possession with intent to distribute. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking is punishable by five years to life and any sentence must be served consecutively to time ordered for the cocaine possession.
Adams is currently free on a $5,000 unsecured appearance bond. He is scheduled to appear with his attorney, John Wesley Hall of Little Rock on Feb. 21 before Hickey. Troxtle is represented by Texarkana attorney Cory Floyd. Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham Jones is representing the government.