A Waldo man has been sentenced to 14 years for his part in a a large-scale methamphetamine-trafficking operation in Columbia County and surrounding areas, U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge announced.
Curtis Cole, 46, was sentenced Tuesday before District Judge Susan O. Hickey to 14 years in prison and four years of supervised release, Eldridge said. Cole was originally charged in a 15-count indictment filed March 6, 2013, after a more than year-long investigation given the moniker Operation Crystal Clear netted the seizure of more than three pounds of methamphetamine, five firearms and about $150,000 cash, authorities said.
Law enforcement officials said at the time of the indictment that they had crippled one of the largest pipelines used to funnel methamphetamine from Mexico, through Texas and into southwest Arkansas.
Prosecutors say Cole sold 2 ounces of methamphetamine to a confidential informant Nov. 16, 2012, for $2,800.
After his March 21, 2013, arrest along with 15 other suspects in the case, Cole pleaded guilty Jan. 27 to one count of distributing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.
Several other defendants in the case await sentencing, Eldridge added.