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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 26, 2019

Five Defendants Sentenced To More Than 37 Years Combined For Trafficking Drugs In Southern Arkansas

Texarkana, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and L. Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI announced that in July 2019, five individuals were sentenced by the United States District Court for their roles in an MDMA, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine trafficking ring operating in Miller and Columbia Counties, and elsewhere in Arkansas.  The Honorable Chief Judge Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearings in the United States District Court in Texarkana, Arkansas.

According to court records, on January 23, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a twenty-five (25) count Second Superseding Indictment against Fredrico Bradley, Christopher Manning, James Manuel, Ladarrius Robinson, and Ricardo Walker in the Western District of Arkansas, Texarkana Division for activities in a large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy.  In 2017, this drug trafficking ring was responsible for pushing substantial quantities of MDMA, cocaine, and methamphetamine onto the streets of south and southwest Arkansas.  Multi-agency operations conducted several controlled purchases of MDMA, cocaine, and methamphetamine from the defendants. 

Manuel, a resident of Texas, personally delivered controlled substances to Bradley in the Western District of Arkansas on multiple occasions.  Bradley received between 2 and 4 ounces of powder cocaine or as many as 2,000 MDMA or methamphetamine pills from Manuel during each delivery.  Manning received controlled substances, including MDMA, cocaine, and methamphetamine, from Bradley in Texarkana.  Manning received the controlled substances as part of an agreement and understanding with Bradley that Manning would distribute them in the Western District of Arkansas.  Manning converted some of the powder cocaine he received from Bradley into cocaine base, commonly known as “crack” cocaine, before re-selling it.            

Manning, in turn, employed Robinson, Walker, and others to distribute those drugs to customers in the Western District of Arkansas – primarily in Columbia County and surrounding areas.  Manning sold most of the drugs he received from Bradley in the Columbia County area, with the aid of co-conspirators residing in and around Waldo, Arkansas, including Robinson and Walker.  Those co-conspirators maintained Manning’s Waldo-based stock of cocaine, MDMA, and methamphetamine and brokered or facilitated their sale to Manning’s customers in and around Columbia County. 

Defendants in this conspiracy received the following sentences:

Christopher Manning, age 47, of Texarkana, Arkansas was sentenced July 24, 2019, to 120 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute MDMA, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine.  Manning was first indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in December 2017 and entered his guilty plea on August 21, 2018.

Fredrico Bradley, age 46, of Texarkana, Arkansas was sentenced July 25, 2019, to 63 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute MDMA, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine.  Bradley was also sentenced to serve a consecutive 41 months for violating the terms of an existing period of supervision, leaving him a total of 104 months to be served.  Bradley was first indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in October 2017 and entered his guilty plea in May 17, 2018. 

James Manuel, age 33, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced July 26, 2019, to 78 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute MDMA, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine.  Manuel was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in October 2017 and entered his guilty plea on November 9, 2018.

Ladarrius Robinson, age 27, of Waldo, Arkansas, was sentenced July 16, 2019 to 100 months in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release on one count of Distribution of More Than 5 Grams of Actual Methamphetamine.  Robinson was first indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in December 2017 and entered his guilty plea on October 3, 2018.

Ricardo Walker, age 28, of Waldo, Arkansas, was sentenced July 24, 2019 to 46 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine.  Walker was first indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in December 2017 and entered his guilty plea on October 3, 2018.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Magnolia, Arkansas, Police Department, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department, the Texarkana, Arkansas, Police Department, the Miller County Sheriff’s Department, the 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Arkansas State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Graham Jones prosecuted the case for the United States.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated July 26, 2019