HUNTSVILLE MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR TRAFFICKING COCAINE
BIRMINGHAM - A federal judge today sentenced a Huntsville man to life in prison for trafficking cocaine, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gregory Borland announced.
U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor sentenced HORACE CAUDLE JR., 38, and ordered him to forfeit $250,000 as proceeds of his illegal drug trafficking. A federal jury convicted CAUDLE in December on a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
CAUDLE’S May 2009 indictment charged that, from about 2002 through May 2008, in Madison County and elsewhere, CAUDLE conspired with many other individuals to traffic cocaine. Evidence presented at trial showed that CAUDLE and his co-conspirators engaged in numerous multi-kilogram cocaine transactions and that CAUDLE had, at one point, attempted to obtain a 20-kilogram shipment of the drug. Witnesses testified that CAUDLE often obtained cocaine from sources in California and Mexico, and dealt with drug traffickers in Alabama’s Morgan and Madison counties.
In sentencing CAUDLE to the mandatory life sentence, Judge Proctor considered the trial evidence as well as CAUDLE’s lengthy criminal history, which included prior felony drug convictions. The government recommended a life sentence, urging the court that it not only would deter CAUDLE from further crimes, but also would send a strong message to the community.
“Special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, working in conjunction with our local law enforcement community, are to be commended for their dedication to this long-term investigation, which has resulted in the conviction of 31 individuals and court-ordered forfeitures of more than $9 million,” Vance said. “The prosecution of major drug traffickers who import drugs into our communities is a primary focus of this office. The sentence handed down today by Judge Proctor is appropriate. It will send a strong message to others who would engage in this illegal activity that the government will prosecute and the punishment is fierce,” she said.
This case was investigated by DEA agents, the Madison-Morgan County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit, the Decatur Police Department and other law enforcement officers. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell E. Penfield.
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