Two Pulaski County Men Convicted After Cocaine Conspiracy Trial
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK—After a three-day trial, a federal jury has found two Pulaski County men guilty of their involvement in a cocaine distribution conspiracy. James “Richie Rich” Richards, 52, of Wrightsville, and Isaac May, 42, of Sweet Home, were found guilty on all counts when the jury returned their verdict late Wednesday evening. United States District Judge James M. Moody, Jr., presided over the trial, and Judge Moody will sentence Richards and May at a later date.
Both Richards and May were charged with and convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and several counts of using a phone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime. Richards was also convicted of conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, and one count of distribution of cocaine.
Richards and May were originally charged in August 2018 with nine other defendants, all of whom have already pleaded guilty. The investigation revealed that in December 2017, Richards began supplying May with cocaine that Richards obtained from supplier and codefendant John Garner. In January 2018, Garner began dealing with May directly. Garner supplied May with cocaine two to three times per week until April of 2018.
Garner had a longer relationship with Richards and began using Richards’ home in Little Rock as a base of distribution in 2010. Garner supplied Richards with cocaine on a daily basis, in significant amounts large enough for Richards to distribute to other sellers, including kilogram and ounce quantities. A confidential informant recorded transactions in which he bought cocaine from Richards, and Richards discussing his cocaine distribution activities, and those recordings were played at trial.
At trial, Garner testified against his former customers. He stated that the approximately seven kilograms of cocaine found in his home and at his storage unit during the execution of a search warrants in June 2018 was part of the supply he was using to distribute to Richards and May, among other customers. Had Garner not been arrested, he would have continued distributing to Richards and May from this supply.
In July 2020, Garner was sentenced to 180 months in prison. Other codefendants who have been sentenced in the case include Larry Clark, Jr. – 262 months, Antwan Hardaway – 12 months and 1 day, and Bridgette Williams – 36 months. All remaining defendants, including Richards and May, are awaiting sentencing.
The statutory penalty for conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine is not less than 10 years and not more than life imprisonment, a fine of not more than $10 million, and not less than five years of supervised release. The statutory penalty for distribution of less than 500 grams of cocaine is not more than 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of not more than $1 million, and not less than three years of supervised release. The statutory penalty for using a phone in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is not more than four years’ imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000, and not more than one year of supervised release. The investigation was conducted by the FBI with assistance from the Arkansas State Police and Arkansas National Guard Counter Drug. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Julie Peters and Chris Givens.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
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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 May 7, 2021