Originally created 03/06/02

Drug dealer arrested again



An Augusta man who was caught with a load of cocaine and given probation in a controversial sentence last year has been rearrested on federal drug-trafficking charges.

Rodricgus F. Maxwell, 26, was arrested in a sting Monday night by narcotics officers from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration, police said. During an initial appearance Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge W. Leon Barfield denied bond on a felony charge of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

Mr. Maxwell now faces the possibility that his 20-year probation will be revoked and he will be given a prison sentence.

In October, Mr. Maxwell pleaded guilty to trafficking in cocaine. He was arrested May 12, 2000, when police found him in possession of just over half a pound of cocaine.

Mr. Maxwell, whose stepfather is local lawyer Luther McDaniel, faced a prison sentence of 15 to 30 years in October when he pleaded guilty. But Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced him to the 20 years' probation. A prosecutor had recommended a 10-year prison sentence.

Mr. Maxwell had previous convictions for cocaine possession and aggravated assault. In July 1989, he was sentenced to six years in prison for those crimes.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.