Two Southwest Arkansas Men Sentenced to Combined 19 Years for Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Drug Offenses
TEXARKANA, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that two Southwest Arkansas men were sentenced yesterday in Texarkana. Delrae McKenzy Smith, age 33, of Ashdown, was sentenced to 115 months in prison and three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Phil Stuard, Jr. age, 31, of Hope, was sentenced to 121 months in prison and six years of supervised release for Distribution of Methamphetamine Near a Public Housing Authority Facility. The Honorable Harry F. Barnes presided over the sentencing in the United States District Court in Texarkana.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “As these cases prove, felons in possession of firearms and drug traffickers pose a serious threat of harm to our police officers and to citizens at large. They have no place in our towns and communities. We will continue to investigate and prosecute these cases, and hopefully prevent violence in Southwest Arkansas and throughout the Western District of Arkansas.”
In the early morning hours of December 12, 2013, a Texarkana, Arkansas Police Officer observed a vehicle run off the road and strike several potholes. Upon stopping the vehicle, one of the occupants was identified as the defendant, Delrae McKenzy Smith. Following a pat down and subsequent search of Smith’s person, a Kel-Tec .380 caliber handgun was found. The firearm located was determined to have been manufactured outside the state of Arkansas, thus traveled in interstate commerce. Smith was prohibited from possessing a firearm, as he had previously been convicted of a felony offense carrying a possible term of imprisonment of more than one year. Smith pleaded guilty to the charge on July 2, 2014.
On January 10, 2013 during the course of an ongoing investigation, law enforcement agents arranged for a controlled purchase, ordering one ounce of methamphetamine for $1,200.00 from the defendant, Phil Stuard, Jr. Officers observed the transaction which occurred in Hempstead County on a location that was within 1000 feet of a public housing authority facility. During the transaction, Stuard handed over a baggie containing a white crystal-like substance in exchange for the $1,200.00. The substance was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab where it tested positive for methamphetamine. Stuard pleaded guilty to the charge on June 9, 2014.
These cases were investigated by the Texarkana Police Department, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bi-State Narcotics Task Force, South Central Drug Task Force, and Arkansas State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney’s David Harris and Jonathan Ross prosecuted the cases for the United States.