A former president of the Sandlick Volunteer Fire Department has pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine in Letcher County.
Buddy Dean Sexton, 76, of 115 Memory Lane, Whitesburg, will remain on home incarceration until he is formally sentenced in Letcher Circuit Court on April 16.
Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright signed an order Feb. 17 to modify bond to allow Sexton to attend doctor’s appointments for him and his wife while Sexton is on home incarceration.
If Wright follows the plea agreement signed by himself, Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison G. Banks II, and Sexton’s attorney, James W. Craft II, Sexton will be required to serve one year in prison on the charge of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine) with the rest of the five- year sentence probated for five years.
The Commonwealth’s plea offer, which took into consideration Sexton’s health condition and age, includes the requirement that Sexton serve 365 days in the county jail for each of the following charges: possession of a controlled substance prescription not in original container, seconddegree possession of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), and third-degree possession of a controlled substance (Alprazolam).
Each 365-day sentence would run concurrently along with the sentence for cocaine trafficking. Sexton would most likely be eligible for parole after serving five months, Banks said.
As part of the plea agreement, Sexton is to pay a fine of $ 8,310, based on the street market value of the 83.09 grams of seized cocaine, to the Letcher Circuit
Court Clerk’s Office. Sexton is also ordered to forfeit $1,840 in cash, a .38 caliber Rossi revolver and a cellphone that were found in his pickup truck when he was arrested on Nov. 4, 2010 during a traffic stop at Campbranch by Lt. Brian Damron of the sheriff ’s department.
The fine and the confiscated items total $10,150, of which 50 percent ($5,075) is to be distributed to the sheriff
’s department, 35 percent ($3,532.50) to Drug Enforcement Special Investigations (DESI) East and 15 percent ($1,522.50) to the Letcher County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
When Sexton was arrested in 2010, he allegedly was returning to Letcher County from a location in Floyd County that had been under surveillance by offi cers with the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA) and KSP DESI East.
As part of the plea agreement, all seized drugs are to be destroyed a month after the judgment is filed.
In January 2011, a Letcher County grand jury declined to indict Sexton on the drug-trafficking charges and indicated then that the case was being transferred to federal court. The case was later transferred back to Letcher Circuit Court, where the indictments were returned in September 2012 after the grand jury heard testimony from Letcher County Deputy Sheriff M.K. Terry, who works as a detective with Appalachian HIDTA.
Sexton had served as president of the fire department for more than 20 years. He helped acquire the land on which the department is located, and played a major role in building and maintaining the department.