Update: 25 charged in massive drug ring bust - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Update: 25 charged in massive drug ring bust

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BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - On Thursday, Jan. 16, federal, state and local police arrested 17 people during an early-morning roundup in Blytheville.

Several more people were arrested in Missouri and Oklahoma.  One suspect was arrested Thursday night in Blytheville, another was already in federal custody on another drug charge.  Two others were in state custody in unrelated charges.  Four suspects remain at large.

They're all suspected of being part of a large-scale drug trafficking ring.

During the round-up officers seized more than $50,000 in drug money, multiple cars and motorcycles, drug paraphernalia and several firearms.

The arrests were the result of a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) investigation that began in 2011.

According to Christopher Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the DEA and the Second Judicial Drug Task Force conducted multiple undercover operations during that time.

The defendants are accused of distributing methamphetamine and marijuana

On Friday, Thyer and Scott Ellington, District Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, unsealed a 62-count indictment charging the defendants with numerous drug offenses.

The list of defendants include:

  • Eric Chandler, 37, of Manila charged with counts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13
  • Antwon Bailey, 27, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 2, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16
  • Jamal Piggee, 27, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 17, 18
  • Renaldre Jackson, 22, in federal custody charged with counts 1, 19, 20, 21
  • Maurice Ladale Thomas, 31, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 7, 9, 22
  • Cordero Lockhart, 25, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 9, 10, 23
  • Jolene Watkins, 38, of Manila charged with counts 1, 3,4, 24, 25, 26
  • Quinton Wiencek, 41, of Chaffee, MO charged with counts 1, 27, 28
  • Richard Babcock, 43, of Caruthersville charged with counts 1, 29, 30
  • Willie Davis III, 28, of Wilson charged with counts 2, 31, 32, 33
  • Roy Witherspoon, 30, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 34, 35
  • Tamika Petty, 26, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 36, 37
  • Richard Razor, 38, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 38, 39
  • Dennis Hudson, 42, of Cooter, MO charged with counts 1, 40, 41
  • Johnathan Brock Still, 39, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 42, 43
  • Timothy Sheard, 35, of Jonesboro charged with counts 1, 44, 45
  • Linniel Lawson, 36, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 46, 47
  • Kenneth Lawson, 58, of Gosnell charged with counts 1, 48, 49
  • Monica Wilhite, 31, of Bixby, OK charged with counts 1, 50, 51
  • David Russell, 48, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 52
  • Shawn Katz, 39, of Little Rock charged with counts 1, 53, 54
  • Bethany Trimm, 31, of Steele, MO charged with counts 1, 6, 55, 56
  • Samuel Alvarado, 39, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 57, 58
  • Lori Whittle, 26, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 59, 60
  • Barbara McCormick, 35, of Blytheville charged with counts 1, 61, 62

Count 1

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine is punishable by not less than 10 years, not more than life, incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $10,000,000, and not less than 5 years supervised release.

Count 2

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana is punishable by not more than 10 years' incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000 and not more than 3 years supervised release.

Count 3, 5-6

Distribution of less than 50 grams of methamphetamine is punishable by not more than 20 years' incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $1,000,000, and not less than 3 years supervised release.

Count 4, 7-10

Distribution of more than 5 grams but less than 50 grams of actual methamphetamine is punishable by not less than 5 years, not more than 40 years' incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $5,000,000, and not less than 4 years supervised release.

Counts 11-51, 53-62

Use of a communication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking crime is punishable by not more than 4 years' incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000, and not more than 1 year supervised release.

Count 52

Misprision of a felony is punishable by not more than 3 years' incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000, and not more than 1 year supervised release.

Lockhart, Bailey, Petty and Piggee are still at large.

We will continue tracking any new details as they are released.

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