A Texarkana man who was involved in trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine plead guilty in federal court Friday.
Keith Everett Kelley, aka Head, appeared with Longview lawyer Greg Waldron at a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Kelley plead guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. He will return to court for sentencing in several months.
Kelley is the first of two men listed in an indictment concerning a Jan. 9 drug deal in Texarkana.
Gregory Phillip Walker, aka Big Foot, and Kelley were arrested that day in a sting operation by the Texas Department of Public Safety and Drug Enforcement Administration. Walker plead guilty at a hearing before Craven in August and is awaiting sentencing.
Walker, 57, was working with Kelley, 32, to take delivery of and pay for one and half pounds of meth from a supplier in California when the men were arrested Jan. 9, according to plea documents filed in the case. Walker and Kelley met the supplier, who was working with investigators, at a house in Texarkana and intended to pay $10,200 for the pound and a half of methamphetamine when law enforcement swooped in and took them into custody.
Walker was released on bond following the arrests but Kelley has been behind bars since.
Kelley and Walker face ten years to life and a fine up to $10 million at sentencing. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder once the court has received pre-sentence investigation reports including recommendations for punishment under federal guidelines.
If either defendant has a prior felony drug conviction, the minimum punishment increases to 20 years and the maximum fine to $20 million. Kelley acknowledged at his sentencing hearing that he could face punishment as a habitual offender.