News and Press Releases

FOUR MEN SENTENCED TO A TOTAL OF OVER FORTY YEARS IN PRISON FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2014

 






Fayetteville, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that four defendants were sentenced this week as a result of drug trafficking charges. The four individuals sentenced were originally charged in a 17-count indictment filed on January 16, 2013. The Honorable Timothy L. Brooks presided over the cases in the United States District Court in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

U. S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “With this case, another drug trafficking organization in Western Arkansas is now out of business. Those that continually violate the law by participating in this type of criminal activity put our communities at risk and demonstrate a lack of respect for both the criminal justice system and society in general. We will continue to aggressively prosecute these types of cases in order to keep the residents of the Western District of Arkansas safe.”

According to documents filed in the case, beginning in January 2012, agents in Northwest Arkansas began an investigation into a drug trafficking organization involved in the distribution of large quantities of methamphetamine in the Northwest Arkansas area, specifically Springdale, Arkansas. The drug organization was determined to have ties throughout Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania.

Gonzalo Ponce-Hurtado, age 59 of Austin, Texas, was sentenced to 210 months in prison without the possibility of parole, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. At sentencing, Ponce-Hurtado was found to be the leader of the organization.

Alejandro Fraire-Martinez, age 30 of Springdale, Arkansas, was sentenced to 46 months in prison without the possibility of parole and three years of supervised release for one count of the distribution of more than five grams of methamphetamine.

Marcelino Pacheco-Huizar, age 50 of Mexico, was sentenced to 121 months in prison without the possibility of parole, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Gonzalo Romero-Madera, age 32 of Mexico, was sentenced to 108 months in prison without the possibility of parole, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine for one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of the distribution of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, and one count of illegal reentry into the United States after deportation.

The cases were investigated by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Carter prosecuted the cases for the United States.

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The Office of U.S. Attorney
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