Cotton, 29, of Harlan, was indicted in the case in 2004 for first-degree trafficking a controlled substance and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.
It is alleged that Cotton had in his possession five plastic bags of cocaine totaling .92 grams and that he had the cocaine in his possession to either sell or distribute it to another person. Cotton allegedly committed this crime while also operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.
The jury found Cotton guilty of a lesser charge than trafficking a controlled substance. They found him guilty of first-degree possession of a controlled substance, a Class D felony, and recommended the sentence of five years in prison.
In a jury trial, the jury usually has the option of finding the defendant guilty of their original indictment charge or of a lesser charge, which is set out in jury instructions for a verdict.
The jury found Cotton guilty of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and recommended a sentence of 48 hours in jail and a fine of $202.
The case was investigated by Harlan County Sheriff's deputy Jayson Howard, who was employed at the Harlan City Police Department at the time of the arrest. Howard made the arrest of Cotton during a traffic stop off the U.S. 421 bypass near Baxter.
Cotton was taken into custody and lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center to await his sentencing on April 28.
In other circuit court action:
-- James Randall Nantz, 19, of Cranks, was sentenced to one year each on two indictments. One indictment was for two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment and the other was one count of receiving stolen property over $300.
Both sentences will run consecutively for a total of two years in prison with restitution in the amount of $2,648 to be paid. The sentences were probated for five years with the first year supervised.
-- Billy J. Boggs Jr., 31, pleaded guilty to first-degree possession of a controlled substance.
The commonwealth attorney recommended one year in prison. His sentencing was set for April 13.
-- Robin Middleton, 41, was scheduled for a jury trial on charges operating a motor vehicle under the influence (third offense), operating a motor vehicle while license was suspended for DUI and possession of marijuana.
According to the Harlan Circuit Court docket, the case was dismissed by agreement of the parties.