Four South Arkansas Men Sentenced to a Total of More Than 31 Years for Unrelated Drug Trafficking Offenses
EL DORADO, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Ronald Brown, age 43, of Harrell, was sentenced to 130 months’ imprisonment for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine; Marcus Wayne, aka “Caine”, age 37, of El Dorado was sentenced to 108 months’ imprisonment for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine; Kirkland Litzsey, aka “K3”, age 27, of Little Rock was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment for Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Crack Cocaine; and Robert Bennett, aka “Big Rob”, age 44, of El Dorado, was sentenced to 77 months’ imprisonment for Distribution of Methamphetamine. United States District Court Judge Susan O. Hickey handed down the sentences in federal court in El Dorado.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “Drug trafficking represents a colossal problem in our communities by bringing crime and violence onto the streets of Arkansas and exposing our children to serious risks. The sentences pronounced today show that my office, joined by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal drug trafficking in communities across the Western District of Arkansas.”
Further information concerning each defendant is below:
Ronald Brown: As part of Operation “Wrecked Rim”, agents with the FBI and FBI Task Force initiated an approximately one year investigation targeting gang members who were involved in the trafficking of narcotics and firearms in El Dorado, Arkansas and surrounding areas. During the investigation, agents identified the defendant, Ronald Brown, as a distributor of methamphetamine in Union County, Arkansas and elsewhere in the Western District of Arkansas. From June 17, 2013 until August 16, 2013, pursuant to orders of United States District Judge Susan O. Hickey of the Western District of Arkansas, agents intercepted numerous electronic and wire communications in which Brown, using coded language, discussed the purchase of ounce quantities of methamphetamine. Following Brown’s arrest, agents determined that another defendant regularly “fronted” (provided on credit) ounce-quantities of methamphetamine to Brown for distribution. A Federal Grand Jury issued the indictment for Brown in September of 2013, and he pleaded guilty to the offense in April of 2014.
Marcus Wayne: According to court records, on June 8, 2012, during the course of an on-going investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), agents determined that Marcus Wayne was conspiring with others to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute in El Dorado, Arkansas and surrounding areas. On that same day, one of the co-conspirators was arrested with $179,375.00 in U.S. currency attempting to pay for a large amount of cocaine. The co-conspirator stated that Wayne was to receive the cocaine. Agents arranged for a controlled purchase from Wayne at this individual’s residence. Agents observed Wayne retrieve a bag from behind a trailer on the co-conspirator’s property that he had previously hidden. Wayne was then placed under arrest, and agents located $36,452.00 in U.S. currency inside the bag. An additional $2,000.00 was located on Wayne’s person. Wayne pleaded guilty to the offense on June 20, 2014.
Kirkland Litzsey: As part of an ongoing investigation, detectives with the Hot Springs Police Department Street Crimes Unit arranged for multiple controlled buys of suspected crack cocaine in October, 2013 from the defendant, Kirkland Litzsey in Hot Springs, Arkansas and surrounding areas. Testing by the Arkansas State Crime lab confirmed the substance purchased from Litzsey contained cocaine base. Litzsey pleaded guilty to the offense on June 5, 2014.
Robert Bennett: According to the plea agreement, on July 16, 2013 a confidential informant (CI) made contact with Robert Bennett who indicated that he knew a source of supply who could obtain large quantities of methamphetamine for sale. Bennett informed the CI that the source of supply could provide one pound of methamphetamine for $12,500 or $13,000 for the CI to buy. Bennett then instructed the CI to come to his residence in El Dorado, Arkansas to pick up the methamphetamine. The CI arrived with $2,600 in law enforcement buy funds at Bennett’s home, where he met Bennett and his co-defendant. Once there, the CI retrieved a bag containing methamphetamine in exchange for the $2,600, and discussed purchasing additional quantities of methamphetamine with Bennett’s co-defendant. The substance was subsequently sent the Arkansas State Crime Lab, where it tested positive for 56.1306 grams of methamphetamine. Bennett’s co-defendant later pleaded to two counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine, and was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment. Bennett pleaded guilty to the offense on June 3, 2014.
“Federal and local law enforcement have successfully collaborated in order to put these four defendants in jail for a long time as a result of their desire to supply the citizens in the Western District of Arkansas with methamphetamine and cocaine,” said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Downing. “Illicit drugs not only harm the addicts who consume them, but also the environment and the general public. Drug dealers who pollute and poison our communities will be dealt with severely and will spend a good part of their lives behind bars,” said Downing.
“We are very proud of the partnership with the DEA, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and local law enforcement,” states David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock FBI field office, “We will continue working to protect our communities from drug traffickers.”
The cases were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, and the Hot Springs Police Department Street Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Wulff, Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes, and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Harris prosecuted the cases for the United States.