Two Members of El Dorado Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to a Combined Total of Over 14 Years in Prison
EL DORADO, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Kendall J. Dykes, aka “KD”, age 43, of El Dorado, Arkansas, and Jewel E. Easter, age 34, of Little Rock, Arkansas, were sentenced today to a combined total of over 14 years in federal prison. Dykes was sentenced to 84 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Easter received a sentence of 92 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearings in the United States District Court in El Dorado.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “Like many towns in South Arkansas, El Dorado has been plagued by drug trafficking. With this operation, these two defendants, along with numerous others, have been prosecuted and will spend a significant portion of their lives in federal prison. Cleaning up drug activity is critical to the success and growth of El Dorado, as it is for all communities. We appreciate the hard work and dedication on behalf of the law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation of this case, and we will continue to vigorously prosecute drug traffickers across the Western District of Arkansas.”
“These sentencings are a result of the concentrated efforts by United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the FBI Task Force and the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force, who partner together to disrupt and dismantle drug networks that threaten our neighborhoods,” commented David T. Resch, Special Agent In Charge of the Little Rock FBI, “Together we will continue to diligently investigate the movement and sale of drugs in our state.”
According to court records, beginning in January, 2013, agents with the FBI and FBI Task Force initiated an 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 Antoine Cook and his drug trafficking organization as a major distributor of methamphetamine in and around Union County, Arkansas. Jewell Easter was identified as one of Cook’s sources of supply for methamphetamine, while Kendall Dykes was identified as a distributor of the methamphetamine for the organization. During the summer of 2013, pursuant to a court order, agents intercepted numerous wire and electronic communications of a cell phone used by Antoine Cook. During the course of the court-ordered interception, investigators intercepted communications between Cook and Easter discussing the distribution of pound quantities of methamphetamine, and between Cook and Dykes in which Dykes discussed the purchase and distribution of ounce quantities of methamphetamine from Cook. In many of the wire and electronic communications between Cook and the defendants, coded language was used in an attempt to disguise their drug trafficking activities. Throughout the investigation, agents conducted numerous controlled purchases of ounce quantities of methamphetamine from Dykes, and were able to determine through physical surveillance and cell phone recordings that Dykes obtained methamphetamine directly from Cook for distribution. Additionally, during the investigation, agents learned that Easter was responsible for the distribution of multiple pound quantities of methamphetamine to Cook in the Western District of Arkansas. Dykes was arrested on October 10, 2013, and pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on August 27, 2014. Easter was arrested on October 3, 2013, and pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on December 9, 2014.
Information regarding defendants related to this case follows:
Antoine C. Cook, aka “Twan”, pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute More than 500 grams of Methamphetamine on February 4, 2014, and was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison.
Amos K. Moore, aka “Johnny”, pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on March 10, 2014, and was sentenced to 130 months in federal prison.
Ronald E. Brown, aka “Caveman”, pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on April 24, 2014, and was sentenced to 130 months in federal prison.
Jeffery Ekowa pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on January 27, 2014, and was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison.
Varten Jaqoub Varentian pleaded guilty to one count of Distribution of Methamphetamine on September 8, 2014, and is currently awaiting sentencing.
These cases were investigated by the FBI, the FBI Task Force, and the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Ben Wulff prosecuted the cases for the United States.