CHARLESTON -- A man's criminal record along with current drug and weapons charges against him mean he could receive up to 60 years in prison if he's convicted.

Ricky Curtis was charged as being an armed habitual criminal along with the other offenses after his arrest on Oct. 24 for allegedly planning to sell methamphetamine.

Curtis, 38, for whom court records list an address of 217 N. Logan St., Mattoon, admitted to police that he was selling methamphetamine and, in at least some instances, trading the drug for guns, according to records in his case.

He made his first court appearance on the charges on Thursday, when he also pleaded not guilty to a methamphetamine delivery charge that was filed earlier and alleges a drug sale on Aug. 28.

Curtis is accused of having two handguns at the time of his Oct. 24 arrest, which led to the armed habitual criminal charge and a charge of possession of a weapon by a felon.

The charges also include possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. They also reference Curtis' prior Coles County felony convictions as well as robbery and weapons convictions from Cook County.

Someone charged as an armed habitual criminal normally faces a required prison sentence of six to 30 years when there's a conviction. For Curtis, however, his record means his maximum possible sentence for that offense would be 60 years.

The other charges in the case don't normally require prison time but do in Curtis' case, also because of his prior convictions. The sentence for each of the other offenses would be six to 30 years.

Also, convictions would also mean consecutive sentences in that and the other pending cases against Curtis. In addition to the case in which he's accused of selling methamphetamine on Aug. 28, he's also charged with drug possession in connection with Sept. 1, 2016, arrest.

In court Thursday, Coles County Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien scheduled Curtis' next hearing for Nov. 20. Assistant State's Attorney Joy Wolf is prosecuting and Assistant Public Defender Terese Matthews represents Curtis.

Case records indicate that the Oct. 24 arrest took place in Charleston after a Coles County sheriff's deputy stopped the car he was driving because of a pending arrest warrant.

About $1,100 in cash was found in the vehicle and the investigation led to the search of a Charleston residence where methamphetamine and guns were found, the records say.

Authorities also filed a civil case against Curtis seeking forfeiture of the money reportedly found in the vehicle, based on claims that it was used in or came from drug sales.


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