Jonesboro Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

September 9, 2003 - Posted at: 8:38 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A Jonesboro man pled guilty to federal drug-related charges Monday in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, before Judge G. Thomas Eisele.

According to the indictment and procedings in the case, Michael Ray Gamble was involved in a marijuana trafficking and drug-money laundering organization operating in the Eastern District of Arkansas, as well as Harlingen, Texas.  From about May 2000 until April 20, 2001, Gamble was obtaining marijuana from his Texas source that was subsequently sold in the Jonesboro area, according to Bud Cummins, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District.

At the time these offenses occured, Gamble was free on conditions of bond while awaiting sentencing after his plea of guilty in another federal drug trafficking case.

On April 12, 2001, Gamble was monitored by investigators while delivering $33,400 in payment for marijuana to individuals at the Harlingen, Texas airport.  Gamble was subsequently arrested in Jonesboro on April 16, 2001 after a vehicle and foot chase.  At the time of his arrest, Gamble was found in possession of marijuana and $9,885 in currency.  Searches of three Jonesboro residences associated with Gamble in this investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately 1,106 pounds of marijuana.  Currency seized during this investigation totaled $139,066.

Gamble has admitted responsibility to the possession and distribution of between 1,000 kilograms and 3000 kilograms of marijuana in this case, as well as laundering approximately $840,000 in drug-related proceeds.  He also pled guilty to the criminal forfeiture of vehicles and of seized currency associated with his drug trafficking activities.

Gamble faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $4,000,000 or both, for the drug trafficking conspiracy.  The money laundering conspiracy carries a term of up to 20 years imprisonment and fines of up to $500,000 or both.  Gamble will be sentenced by Judge Eisele in approximately six weeks.

The investigation was designated as an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case and the investigation was conducted by agents with the DEA, IRS, FBI, U.S. Border Patrol, 2nd Judicial District Drug Task Force, Craighead County Sheriff's Department, Arkansas State Police and the police departments in Jonesboro, Little Rock, Conway, Jacksonville and Harlingen, Texas.