Leader of Major Heroin and Cocaine Drug Rings Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy
LITTLE ROCK—Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today that Aaron Clark, 36, of Little Rock, has pleaded guilty to his involvement in a major conspiracy to distribute heroin.
Clark, also known as “Black,” entered his guilty plea today before United States District Court Judge James M. Moody, Jr., who will sentence Clark at a later date.
A federal grand jury indicted Clark on May 5, 2017, in a 33-defendant, 67-count indictment involving heroin and cocaine conspiracies, both headed by Clark. The indictment resulted in the arrests of dozens of accused drug and gun dealers in central Arkansas.
In late 2015, the FBI and North Little Rock Police Department began investigating the drug-trafficking activities of certain North Little Rock gangs, including the “Self Made Gangsters” (SMG) street gang. Investigators soon learned the gangs’ main source of supply of drugs came from individuals in Little Rock.
Between July and October 2016, NLRPD conducted four controlled purchases of heroin from Clark. Using wiretaps and other sources, agents then confirmed that Clark was purchasing kilogram quantities of heroin and cocaine from a supplier in Texas. On Tuesday, Clark admitted to selling this heroin in ounce and gram quantities as well as larger multi-ounce and kilogram quantities.
In November 2016 agents executed a search warrant at Clark’s west Little Rock residence. Agents seized more than $100,000 cash and jewelry, 178 grams of heroin, a marijuana grow operation, and six firearms. In May 2017, another search warrant at Clark’s new residence revealed over $55,000 cash, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine labeled “ice” and stored in an oven.
Throughout the investigation, agents seized more than two kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of heroin, more than five pounds of methamphetamine, one pound of crack cocaine, and eight ounces of fentanyl. Officers seized these drugs during more than 25 controlled purchases, as well as during the execution of multiple search warrants. In addition, agents seized 25 guns and approximately $241,000 of drug proceeds.
The maximum punishment Clark faces for conspiracy to distribute heroin is not less than 10 years’ imprisonment, not more than life, a fine not to exceed $10,000,000, and not less than five years of supervised release.
The primary investigation was conducted by FBI’s Met Rock Task Force, in coordination with the Little Rock and North Little Rock Police Departments. Assistant United States Attorney Benecia Moore is the lead prosecutor on the indictment.
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