You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Arkansas

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Career Offender Sentenced to Over 18 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking

          Fayetteville, Arkansas - Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that James Bryan Witherspoon, age 42 of Lowell, Arkansas, was sentenced today to 220 months in federal prison followed by 5 years of supervised release and fined $15,000 on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute More than 500 Grams of a Mixture or Substance Containing Methamphetamine. The Honorable Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.

          According to court records, as early as August, 2015, agents with Homeland Security Investigations and the DEA were investigating the defendant, James Bryan Witherspoon for trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine in the Western District of Arkansas.  On September 21, 2015, officers with the Rogers and Lowell Police Departments executed a state search warrant on Witherspoon’s vehicle, which was located at his residence in Lowell. During the search, officers located his backpack, which contained two packages of methamphetamine, baggies and a scale. According to the state crime lab, the net weight of the methamphetamine was 2,211 grams with a purity level of 95 percent.  On October 8, 2015, detectives with the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force located Witherspoon in Springdale, Arkansas, and a traffic stop was initiated and got a positive alert from a narcotics detecting K9.  Detectives searched Witherspoon’s vehicle and discovered approximately 642 grams of methamphetamine, over $11,000 in U.S. currency, a currency counter, digital scales and various other items of drug paraphernalia. Subsequent to being advised of and waiving his Miranda rights, the defendant admitted during an interview that he had been distributing methamphetamine in the Northwest Arkansas area. 

          “Methamphetamine has devastated countless communities across America due to the dramatic health and public safety consequences that typically accompany its introduction in a community,” said Special Agent in Charge of HSI New Orleans Raymond R. Parmer Jr. “Given the significant quantity of illegal drugs seized in the case, this sentencing represents a significant hit to drug traffickers in Northwest Arkansas and is a testament to the ongoing partnership between HSI and its law enforcement partners in the area.”

          The investigation was led by Homeland Security Investigations.  Agencies that took part in this investigation were the Drug Enforcement Administration, Arkansas State Police, 4th Judicial Task Force, Fort Smith Police Department, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Rogers Police Department, and Lowell Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney David Harris prosecuted the case for the United States.

*  *  *    E N D    *  *  *

Related court documents may be found on the Public Access to Electronic Records website @



Drug Trafficking
Updated July 14, 2016