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Press Release

Helena-West Helena Man Sentenced to 226 Months in Prison for Federal Firearm Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK—A Helena-West Helena man is expected to remain in prison until at least 2053 after possessing of a firearm following a felony conviction and for brandishing a firearm during the armed robbery of a local convenience store. On Thursday, United States District Judge James M. Moody sentenced Nicholas Dismuke, 27, to 226 months in federal prison.

Dismuke pleaded guilty on January 15, 2020, to an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a federal crime of violence following his involvement in a robbery in Helena-West Helena. In September 2015, Dismuke entered the Dollar General with a silver revolver. He demanded money from the cashier at the register, who could not open it, but the store manager was able to open the register at gunpoint. Dismuke grabbed all of the money from the register, which was approximately $169.

Later that month, law enforcement located Dismuke at an apartment in Jonesboro. A search of the apartment revealed a Smith & Wesson .50 caliber revolver and an AA Arms 9mm pistol, both loaded, tied in a plastic grocery bag in the toilet tank. Prior to his possession of these firearms, Dismuke had been convicted of Aggravated Assault as well as Attempted Escape First Degree. Dismuke pleaded guilty on January 15, 2020.

During the hearing, evidence was presented reflecting Dismuke’s criminal history, which included the death of an officer at the Pine Bluff Juvenile Detention Center when Dismuke assaulted the officer while escaping. Dismuke was also convicted of aggravated assault after a 2012 escape attempt when he assaulted three officers at the Independence County Judicial Detention Center. He was also convicted of aggravated assault in 2018 after assaulting a guard at a facility in Lincoln County, Arkansas.

In addition to Dismuke’s violence against correctional officers, evidence at the hearing indicated he committed five armed robberies in September 2015: one in St. Louis, Missouri; one in Jonesboro, and three in Helena-West Helena.

Dismuke will be held in custody until 2038 as a result of his Missouri conviction for the September 5, 2015, armed robbery of a pawn shop during which he shot at an employee’s head and foot. Judge Moody ordered Dismuke to serve 46 months’ imprisonment on Count 1, concurrent to his Arkansas and Missouri state sentences, and 180 months’ imprisonment on Count 2, consecutive to all three of the other sentences. Dismuke is expected to remain in custody until 2053.

“This case exemplifies why it is so important to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons,” stated Jonathan D. Ross, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. “This defendant put two hardworking Arkansans in fear for their lives by robbing their workplace at gunpoint. The question at sentencing today was not how much jail time would be sufficient, but how soon is too soon to release this violent offender back into the community. We appreciate the work of our partners at FBI and the Arkansas State Police to keep this violent offender behind bars.”

"The astoundingly violent record of this defendant speaks for itself," said FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson. "His historically vicious crimes coupled with his current criminal convictions warranted a stiff sentence in prison, and we are pleased with today's court decision. As always, we are grateful to our partners at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas for their work in prosecuting this brutal career criminal."

In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Moody sentenced Dismuke to five years of supervised release. The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Arkansas State Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie Peters.

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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



Updated December 9, 2021

Firearms Offenses