California trucker sentenced in Tulsa for running cocaine
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Thursday, April 12, 2012
4/12/12 at 11:24 PM
A California man who was transporting a truckload of pianos from Los Angeles to New Jersey was sentenced this week in Tulsa to five years in prison for also having about 2 kilograms of cocaine in the vehicle.
Byron Franklin Simmons, 31, pleaded guilty Jan. 17 to possessing about 2,000 grams of cocaine he had concealed in the truck last Sept. 4, when he was pulled over in Craig County while traveling on the Will Rogers Turnpike.
An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper stopped the 2003 Freightliner when the driver allegedly did not signal a lane change while entering a toll plaza, an affidavit says.
Simmons gave his consent for the truck to be searched, according to the document.
In addition to the load of pianos, authorities found two bundles of cocaine in a backpack that was inside a microwave oven in the truck's sleeper area, the affidavit says.
Simmons was first charged in a complaint that was filed under seal in Tulsa federal court Sept. 13.
He pleaded guilty in January to a charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, although he preserved his right to appeal U.S. Chief District Judge Gregory Frizzell's decision to deny his motion to suppress the evidence found during the search of the truck.
Frizzell also ordered Simmons to pay a $1,100 penalty and to be under court supervision for four years after his release from prison.
Byron Franklin Simmons