West Memphis man sentenced in drug investigation

West Memphis man sentenced in drug investigation

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (KAIT) - A leader in a drug distribution ring in West Memphis was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after the state and federal Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation dubbed "Delta Crossroads."

Rafael McDaniel, 33 of West Memphis was sentenced following his convictions before Chief U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller.

On March 20, McDaniel was convicted of drug trafficking and firearms offenses following a jury trial.

It was determined Friday that McDaniel was responsible for the distribution of between 840 grams and 2.8 kilograms of crack cocaine in West Memphis between January 2012 and November 2013.

McDaniel's sentence was enhanced because he obstructed justice by lying about his drug and gun activities during his testimony at trial.

He is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, commonly known as crack cocaine; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Chief Judge Miller sentenced McDaniel to 15 years in prison on the drug trafficking offenses and a consecutive 5 years for the firearms offense for a total of 20 years.

McDaniel will also serve a term of four years of supervised release after he is released from prison. He must also pay a $400 special assessment.

"We are committed to working together in this district to dismantle drug trafficking organizations operating in our communities," said Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. "With this conviction, another violent drug dealer has been removed from the streets for a very long time."

The FBI, at the request of the West Memphis Police Department, initiated the Delta Crossroads investigation, which primarily focused on drug trafficking in West Memphis.

Twenty people were arrested in the investigation in November 2013.

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android