Hot Springs Man Sentenced to Twenty Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking
Hot Springs, Arkansas - Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Cedric Easter, age 30 of Hot Springs, was sentenced yesterday to 240 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. The Honorable Judge Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Hot Springs.
According to the plea agreement, during the month of April, 2014, agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and detectives from the 18th East Judicial Drug Task Force began investigating Easter for selling methamphetamine in the Western District of Arkansas. In June, 2014, officers executed a state search warrant at a residence in Hot Springs and recovered documents associated with Easter as well as a large amount of U.S. currency and a 9mm pistol.
Investigators were able to review numerous phone records which showed incriminating text messages between Easter and others dating back to March, 2014 wherein drug amounts were discussed.
Between July 30, 2014 and December 9, 2014, law enforcement made four controlled buys of methamphetamine from Easter. Subsequent to the last controlled buy, agents executed a search warrant at Easter’s residence where he was located and arrested. During the search, agents located and seized marijuana, a 9mm pistol, and $5,560 in U.S. currency. Agents also executed a search warrant at Easter’s neighbor’s residence due to information that Easter was keeping drugs at that residence. Agents discovered approximately four ounces of methamphetamine and $9,000 in U.S. currency.
During a post-Miranda statement, Easter admitted to selling methamphetamine in the Hot Springs area with others and admitted that the drugs and money found at the neighbor’s residence were his. He also admitted that he knew about the two firearms seized during the investigation. The suspected substances obtained were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab where they tested positive for methamphetamine.
Easter was indicted by a federal grand jury on November 19, 2014 and pleaded guilty on July 31, 2015.
“Removing drugs and weapons from our communities makes them safer and will remain one of our top priorities”, said Special Agent in Charge of HSI New Orleans Raymond R. Parmer, Jr. “Together with our law enforcement partners we will continue to target these criminal elements.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the 18th East Judicial Drug Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney David Harris prosecuted the case for the United States.
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Related court documents may be found on the Public Access to Electronic Records website @ www.pacer.gov