Leader of Trumann Meth Ring Sentenced in Federal Court - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

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Leader of Trumann Meth Ring Sentenced in Federal Court

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Trumann man faces at least 20 years in prison after he admitted he was a leader of a major methamphetamine ring in northeast Arkansas.

Prosecutors say 36-year-old John Pascal Soward pleaded guilty in federal court to drug trafficking and weapons charges.  He will be sentenced later, but will get a minimum of 20 years because of an earlier felony conviction for drugs.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jane Duke says investigators seized 77 guns, including one submachine gun and two silencers from Soward.  They also received items Soward obtained through the drug ring, such as a motorcycle and some property in Jonesboro.

Soward and 17 others were charged last year with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from 1997-2006.  Fourteen of the 17 co-defendants have pleaded guilty, including 51-year-old William Watson of Trumann, 35-year-old Christopher Ishmael of Jonesboro, 55-year-old Douglas Jones of Manila, 35-year-old Kelly Vest of Harrisburg, 37-year-old Danny Wiseman of Jonesboro, 40-year-old Parrish Morris of Lafe, 45-year-old Mitchell Qualls of Lake City, 46-year-old Keith Guffey of Bono, 26-year-old Joseph Jackson of Bono, 39-year-old Jack Jones of Jonesboro, 47-year-old Willard Spray of Trumann, 33-year-old Joe Don Schulte of Jonesboro and 29-year-old David Forrester of Searcy.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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