Traffic stop yields 56 kilos of cocaine, two men in custody

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A routine traffic stop last week resulted in the seizure of approximately 56 kilograms of cocaine by Arkansas State Police in Hempstead County.

Two Kentucky men, Johnnie D. Adams, 37, and Curtis J. Troxtle, 34, appeared before a federal judge in Texarkana on Friday for an initial appearance on a criminal complaint charging them with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. Both are being held in the Miller County jail.

Trooper Bernard Pettit pulled over a black Ford Explorer at about 4:30 p.m. Oct. 29 for allegedly following too closely behind a semi-truck as it traveled eastbound on I-30 near the 26 mile post in Hemptstead County, according to the complaint. Troxtle was driving and Adams showed Pettit a copy of a contract on his cell phone which showed he had rented the SUV that day in Alexandria, Louisiana.

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Troxtle allegedly told Pettit that he and Adams had flown from Kentucky to Corpus Christi, Texas, together in Adams’ private plane for a vacation and that they’d decided to rent a car after the plane broke down in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Adams allegedly told Pettit that he and Troxtle flew in Adams’ plane from Kentucky to Shreveport and allegedly denied ever stopping in Texas.

Adams allegedly refused to give consent to search the Explorer. Adams reportedly informed Pettit that he did have a handgun in the car and showed him a Kentucky concealed carry license.

A Nevada County, Ark., canine allegedly alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from the Explorer. When Pettit told the men that he now had the probable cause necessary to search the car, Adams allegedly told the trooper, “we are mules and the car is loaded,” according to the complaint.

Inside of a black hard-backed suitcase officers allegedly found 32 wrapped packages of suspected cocaine weighing approximately 2.2 pounds, or one kilogram, each. Inside of a Nike duffel bag, officers allegedly discovered an additional 24 packages of suspected cocaine for a total of more than 123 pounds.

Also found in the car were two handguns. Adams allegedly claimed ownership of a Ruger pistol and allegedly told investigators the other gun was supposed to be delivered with the cocaine.

In interviews with members of the Drug Enforcement Administration after their arrests, Adams and Troxtle allegedly admitted to transporting cash and drugs between Detroit, Michigan, and McAllen, Texas, in Adams’ plane and that they had made several prior trips.

Both men appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant for an initial court appearance on the complaint Friday in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas. The next step is for the government to present the case to a federal grand jury. If a grand jury determines there is probable cause, the men may be formally charged in an indictment.

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

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