Newport Alderman Enters Innocent Plea on Federal Drug Charges

JANUARY 19, 2005 - Posted at 7:55 a.m. CST, updated at 8:44 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A trial is set for next month for a Newport alderman and his wife on drug charges they pleaded innocent to yesterday.  Pinkey McFarlin was indicted on 25 counts related to the possession and distribution of crack cocaine and the tranquilizer Xanax.  His wife Tammie faces two charges of aiding and abetting the possession, with intent to distribute, of Xanax and crack cocaine.

The McFarlins were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Jerry Cavaneau, who then released the couple on their own recognizance.  U.S. District Judge George Howard, Jr. is to preside over the jury trial, scheduled to begin February 28.

Pinkey McFarlin has been a Newport City Council member for three years, and recently began his second term.  He is also president of the Jackson County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Meanwhile, Newport Mayor David Stewart has publicly called for McFarlin's resignation from the City Council at Monday night's Council meeting.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)