El Dorado Man Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison For Drug Trafficking
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Arkansas
El Dorado, Arkansas - Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Pradis Lee Benton, aka Benton, age 42, of El Dorado, was sentenced today to 180 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in El Dorado.
According to court records, on April 14, 2016, investigators with the United States Marshal Service (“USMS”) and 13th Drug Task Force (“DTF”) received information that a fugitive was inside of a mobile home on Nick Springs Road in El Dorado, Arkansas, which is located in the Western District of Arkansas.
Investigators went to that residence and knocked on the front door. A female opened the door and stated that the fugitive the investigators were seeking was not at the residence. She told investigators that they were free to go inside the home and look around. Investigators took her up on that offer and once inside the residence, encountered Benton in the restroom. The officers asked Benton to go into the living room while they completed a search of the residence.
While attempting to ascertain and confirm Benton’s identity, an officer with the DTF noticed a large bulge at Benton’s ankle that he thought, in his training and experience, resembled an ankle holster containing a firearm. The officer asked Benton what was at his ankle and Benton immediately reached for the item. The officer stepped towards Benton and stopped Benton from grabbing the item. Benton pushed the officer away and went for the item at his ankle again. During the struggle, the officer’s foot caused the item to fall from Benton’s pants. The item turned out to be three bags of suspected methamphetamine.
Benton then began to struggle with officers over the bags. Benton ripped open one of the bags and threw the suspected methamphetamine in the officers’ faces. After the struggle, Benton was taken into custody for the possession of the methamphetamine.
Benton was named in a federal indictment in August of 2016 and pled guilty to the charge in October of 2016.
The United States Marshal Service and the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Ben Wulff prosecuted the case for the United States.
Updated December 13, 2017