Men who smuggled cocaine in plane, rental car plead guilty in Texarkana federal court


Two Somerset, Ky., men who were arrested with 56 kilos of cocaine and two handguns have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas.

Johnnie D. Adams, 38, pleaded guilty Friday before U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey to possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Curtis J. Troxtle, 34, pleaded guilty in January before Hickey to the same offenses.

Both men were taken into federal custody after pleading guilty. They were arrested by Arkansas State Police after 56 kilos of cocaine were found in a hard-backed suitcase and a duffel bag, along with two firearms, in a rented Ford Explorer they were driving Oct. 29, 2018, on I-30 in Hempstead County.

Adams and Troxtle, both of Somerset, Kentucky, were pulled over at approximately 4:30 p.m. for following too closely behind a semi-truck on Interstate 30 by Arkansas State Police Trooper Bernard Pettit, according to a criminal complaint. When interviewed separately, Adams and Troxtle provided different stories with regard to their travel.

After being told that the car would be searched because a Nevada County police canine alerted to the presence of narcotics, Adams yelled, “We are mules and the car is loaded.”

The men told a member of the Drug Enforcement Agency that Adams rented the SUV after his private plane broke down in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The men admitted that they had made trips moving cash and drugs between McAllen, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan, on multiple occasions.

The men were released on unsecured bonds of $5,000 following a detention hearing in November 2018. Both will be held in custody until sentencing. Possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms is punishable by 10 years to life in federal prison and a fine up to $10 million.

Carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense is punishable by five years to life in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Any time the men receive in connection with the guns must be served consecutive to time for the drug possession.

Adams is represented by Little Rock attorney John Wesley Hall. Troxtle is represented by Texarkana attorney Cory Floyd. Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham Jones is representing the government.

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