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METH DEALER ARRESTED FOR SECOND TIME

August 2, 2013

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and William J. Bryant, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that Chester Green, age 32, was arrested yesterday and charged today on a federal Complaint with distribution of methamphetamine.

The arrest was made after a confidential informant made a methamphetamine purchase under the direction of law enforcement. The Arkansas State Police is conducting an investigation regarding shots fired during the arrest. No one was injured in the incident. This is the second arrest and federal drug distribution charge for Green in the past three months. A Motion to Revoke his bond was filed along with the Complaint. Green is in custody. His initial appearance on this charge is expected to be early next week.

Chester Green was out on bond from an arrest on May 21, 2013. He was arrested with five others on a 22-count indictment charging ten defendants from Central Arkansas and Texas with multiple drug offenses. Approximately 34.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, 22 pounds of marijuana, and $211,000 in U.S. currency were seized in Operation "SoLow". In addition, the Lonoke County Sheriff's Department uncovered the first methamphetamine conversion lab seen in the State of Arkansas to date, which was directly connected to two of the defendants indicted in the SoLow case. This lab was used to convert methamphetamine into crystal methamphetamine or "Ice." "Ice" is high-purity methamphetamine.

"The effect of meth and more particularly, "Ice," on our communities is a serious concern," stated Thyer. "Many studies have shown its devastating effect on the user's health. Meth labs pose a health risk to those nearby and an environmental risk due to the chemicals used and discarded in the process. This office is working closely with the DEA and Drug Task Forces across the State to prosecute to the full extent of the law those who seek to bring this scourge into our communities."

"Methamphetamine continues to be the number one drug threat in the state of Arkansas", said Bryant. "The dismantlement of this drug trafficking organization made a significant impact on the Central Arkansas community. Based on the significant seizures made in this investigation, it kept this large amount of methamphetamine from being distributed in our communities in Arkansas. The seizure of this large methamphetamine conversion lab in this case is a first for Arkansas, however other southern states have seen an increase in these types of labs."

The DEA and Central Arkansas Drug Task Force initiated an investigation into the drug-trafficking activities of Chester Green, aka "Cheese," in early 2012. Through that investigation, law enforcement learned that Green was distributing large quantities of methamphetamine in Central Arkansas and that he was being supplied by a distribution network out of Texas. The DEA, the Central Arkansas Drug Task Force, and the Arkansas State Police made multiple controlled purchases of methamphetamine from defendants during this investigation. Law enforcement also learned during the course of the investigation that one of the defendants being supplied with methamphetamine by Green, Timothy Vachon Johnson, is an employee of the United States Postal Service. Timothy Johnson was seen picking up methamphetamine from Green in his mail truck while on duty in Searcy.

The indictment was handed down by a Federal Grand Jury on March 9, 2013. The counts include conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, and use of telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime. (See defendant/charge list attached.). If convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine each defendant will face a sentence of not less than 10 years to life imprisonment.

This investigation is designated as a Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and as an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case . Through the inclusion of Arkansas into the Gulf Coast HIDTA, law enforcement is provided additional training and tools to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations in Arkansas.

The investigation for this arrest and the original SoLow Operation was conducted by the DEA. The SoLow Operation also included assistance from HIDTA #61 which consists of special agents from the DEA, as well as officers and personnel from the following agencies: Pine Bluff Police Department; Jefferson County Sheriff's Department; Jacksonville Police Department; 20th Judicial District Drug Task Force; Little Rock Police Department; Arkansas Highway Police; and the Arkansas National Guard. Also providing investigative assistance was the United States Post Office - Office of the Inspector General. The U.S. Attorney also thanks the following state and local partners who provided valuable assistance to the Task Force for the SoLow investigation and arrests: the Arkansas State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, White County Sheriff's Department, Lonoke County Sheriff's Department, Little Rock Police Department, Bald Knob Police Department, Higginson Police Department, and the Searcy Police Department. The indictment is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Benecia B. Moore.

An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The charges set forth in a Complaint are merely allegations. A federal Grand Jury will decide whether to indict on these charges. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

SoLow DEFENDANTS/CHARGES

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine:

Chester Green, aka "Cheese," 32, detained on new charge August 2, 2013

Olen Jay Defoure, 35, released Justin Ellis, 25, released

Chevis Johnson, 27, detained on separate charges in Western District of Arkansas

Rodney Johnson, 34, released

Timothy Vachon Johnson, 37 released

Sammy Antoine Neal, 37, released

Marco Antonio Portes-Ortega, aka "Tony," age unknown, fugitive

Jose Refugio Ruiz-Juarez, aka Jose Ruiz-Cortes, aka "Cuco," 40, detained on separate charges

Roxana Whisenhunt, aka Roxana de al Rosa-Ramirez, 34, detained on separate charges

In addition to the conspiracy charges, the following defendants are also charged with the following crimes:

Chester Green, aka "Cheese", distribution of methamphetamine (2 counts), use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (2 counts).

Olen Jay Defoure, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (1 count).

Chevis Johnson, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (1 count), use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (1 count).

Rodney Johnson, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (1 count).

Timothy Vachon Johnson, distribution of methamphetamine (3 counts), use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (2 counts).

Sammy Antoine Neal, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (1 count).

Justin Ellis, use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (2 counts).

Marco Antonio Portes-Ortega, aka "Tony," use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (2 counts).

Jose Refugio Ruiz-Juarez, aka Jose Ruiz-Cortes, aka "Cuco," possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (1 count), possession with intent to distribute marijuana (1 count)

Roxana Whisenhunt, aka Roxana de al Rosa-Ramirez, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (1 count), possession with intent to distribute marijuana (1 count), use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (1 count).

STATUTORY SENTENCES

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine is punishable by not less than 10 years, not more than life, incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $10,000,000, and not less than 5 years supervised release.

Possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine is punishable by not less than 10 years, not more than life, incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $10,000,000, and not less than 5 years supervised release.

Distribution of more than 5 grams of methamphetamine actual and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine are punishable by not less than 5 years, not more than 40 years, incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $5,000,000, and not less than 4 years supervised release.

Distribution and possession with intent to distribute less than 50 grams of methamphetamine are punishable by not more than 20 years incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $1,000,000, and not less than 3 years supervised release.

Possession with intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana is punishable by not more than 5 years incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000, and not more than 2 years supervised release.

Use of a communication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking crime is punishable by not more than 4 years incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons with a possible fine of up to $250,000, and not more than 1 year supervised release.

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Christopher R. Thyer

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas is pleased to bring you

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