Operation Stateline Sweep Update: Four Defendants Sentenced to More Than 25 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 29, 2013|
TEXARKANA, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that four defendants were sentenced this week as a result of charges brought during Operation Stateline Sweep, a drug trafficking investigation that took place in 2011. The individuals sentenced were part of a 190 count indictment filed in September 2011, which named 66 defendants and has been prosecuted since that time. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the cases in the United States District Court in Texarkana, Arkansas.
United States Attorney Eldridge commented, “Those that continually violate the law and put our communities at risk demonstrate a lack of respect for both the criminal justice system and society in general. I applaud the collaborative effort that made the prosecution of this case possible.”
Aarius Cooks, age 24 of Texarkana, Texas, was sentenced to 10 years in prison without the possibility of parole and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine. Cooks received a sentence enhancement after the district court found that he had obstructed justice by committing perjury during the course of the investigation. Cooks is a member of the criminal enterprise known as Four Block, which operates as a drug trafficking organization in and around Texarkana, Arkansas. Over the course of the conspiracy, which occurred around June 2010, Cooks and other co-conspirators distributed or intended to distribute over 280 grams of crack cocaine, and Cooks was identified as the right-hand man of co-defendant Jamondo Lewis, who was the primary distributor of crack cocaine for the organization and was sentenced to 24 years and four months in prison for the same offense in June of 2013.
Willie Ray Gilliam, age 28, of Nashville, Arkansas, was sentenced to seven years in prison without the possibility of parole and three years of supervised release for distributing crack cocaine. Gilliam has two prior felony convictions for controlled substance offenses and was considered a career criminal for purposes of sentencing.
Taveas Green, age 31, of Texarkana, Arkansas, was sentenced to five years in prison without the possibility of parole and four years of supervised release for distributing more than 28 grams of crack cocaine.
Willie Tatum, age 27, of Texarkana, Arkansas, was sentenced to over three years in prison without the possibility of parole and four years of supervised release for distributing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a public housing authority facility.
The cases were investigated by the Bi-State Narcotics Task Force, which is composed of representatives of the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department; the Texarkana, Texas Police Department; the Miller County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Quinn prosecuted the cases for the United States.