Truck driver sentenced after $500K cocaine bust

Published: Jun. 23, 2017 at 8:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2017 at 9:22 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A federal judge sentenced a tractor-trailer driver from Pennsylvania in a $500,000 drug bust case.

Robert Francis Kelly, 56, of Pennsylvania, is now serving a 64-month prison sentence, which is just over five years, for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. He will also serve five years of supervised release.

Kelly was arrested after a traffic stop in August 2016, on Interstate 85 near mile maker 15 and 16 near the Waugh exit.

An Alabama State Trooper pulled over Kelly for having suspicious registration information. During the stop, Kelly told troopers he was driving down from Delaware.

Troopers found Kelly's log records did not match the direction he was driving. Further investigation showed his cross-country trip really started just a few miles from the Mexican border and his final stop was supposed to be in Atlanta, Georgia.

State troopers found 15 kilograms of cocaine stashed in a secret compartment in the truck. Parts of the truck's rear axle were rigged to create an area to discretely hold the drugs.

Although the final stop for these drugs was not Alabama, it is still a major concern for law enforcement and state officials because these illegal drugs were
passing right through the city of Montgomery.

"We can't take all the drugs off the streets, but we're doing the best we can. These 15 kilograms is a huge step in the right direction," Bradley Bodiford,
Assistant United States Attorney.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency helped investigate this case.

Because this is a federal case, Kelly is not eligible for parole.

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