Fentanyl Traffickers Arraigned Today In Federal Court
LITTLE ROCK— Nine people appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Joe. J. Volpe after being arrested Tuesday morning on charges of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl between June 2022 and March 2023. Andre Kimble, 40, of Little Rock, and nine others were named in this latest round of indictments related to “Operation Hartbreak Kid.”
Kimble led a large-scale fentanyl-trafficking organization, which sold the drug from various motels in the Little Rock area. The investigation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, in cooperation with the Little Rock Police Department, the North Little Rock Police Department, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections, and the Arkansas State Police. Throughout the investigation, law enforcement seized eight firearms and more than $20,000. Several of the defendants charged have multiple prior felony convictions and, should they be convicted, will be facing enhanced penalties for drug trafficking and possessing firearms.
The defendants arrested include Kimble, Jerry Wesley, 64, Henry White, 31, Eric James, 43, Frankie Webb, 44, Giovaughnie Criswell, 42, Amethyst Schmued, 33, Shelton Graham, 33, and Billy Joe Cooksey, 40, all of Little Rock. One defendant remains at large. In addition to drug conspiracy charges, some defendants are also facing charges for possession of a firearm by a felon, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and money laundering. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anne Gardner.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
An indictment contains only allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, is available online at