A Frankfort real estate agent was sentenced Thursday to one year and a day on a federal charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
William Richard “Rick” Pulliam, 44, principal broker for Re/Max Bluegrass Realty in Frankfort, had pleaded guilty May 24 in U.S. District Court in Frankfort. Since then, he has been in the Grayson County jail, where federal prisoners are often held while awaiting sentencing. He will receive credit for the four months he has been in jail.
U.S. District Court Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove also imposed a $15,000 fine. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hydee Hawkins had sought a fine of $40,000 to $50,000, and Pulliam’s defense attorney, Brandon Wayne Marshall of Lexington, had said a $3,000 fine was reasonable.
“I’m truly sorry and I’m ashamed of my actions,” Pulliam said before the judge imposed the sentence.
In the plea agreement, Pulliam acknowledged that he “possessed cocaine located at his residence with the intent to distribute it to others.”
Kentucky State Police and FBI agents executed a search warrant at Pulliam’s home in Frankfort on Feb. 20, 2014, according to court records. It isn’t clear from the court record why it took more than three years to bring the federal charge.
The search of a room that Pulliam used as an office turned up 9.5 grams of cocaine, scales, packaging materials and a Taurus .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. The gun was not loaded, but a loaded magazine was found nearby.
The gun and its ammunition were forfeited to federal authorities.
Pulliam told the judge that had the FBI and state police “not come in that day, my life might have been worse.”
He said he quit using cocaine in 2014 and has not consumed alcohol since December. He is going through a 12-step alcohol recovery program, and he will have to go through treatment programs while in federal custody.
He will be on supervised release for four years after he leaves prison.
“I look forward to additional oversight,” Pulliam told the judge. “I want this. I need this.”
Defense attorney Marshall said in open court that Re/Max rescinded Pulliam’s franchise after he accepted the plea agreement. The Kentucky Real Estate Commission could take Pulliam’s Realtor and broker licenses, but the agency hasn’t taken any action yet, Marshall said.
Marshall said Pulliam will have to sell rental property to pay the fine.
Pulliam also faces state charges. A Franklin County grand jury indicted him in November on charges of trafficking in cocaine and tampering with evidence.
“The story of the human condition is that we are sometimes consumed by our appetites,” Judge Van Tatenhove said during sentencing.