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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jury Finds California Man Guilty On Two Counts Of Drug Trafficking And One Count Of Witness Tampering

Hot Springs, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Rasheen Murdock, age 37, of Modesto, California was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of aiding and abetting in the distribution of methamphetamine, and one count of witness tampering following a three-day jury trial in Hot Springs. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the trial.  

According to evidence presented at the trial, in March 2016, law enforcement investigators in Hot Springs, Arkansas received information from a cooperating source (CS) that Murdock was engaged in a methamphetamine drug trafficking operation. After receiving the information, investigators equipped the CS with audio/video surveillance equipment. The CS’s surveillance information revealed communications between Murdock and others involved in the drug trafficking organization, discussing the sale of methamphetamine, heroin, and other drugs.  The investigation further revealed that Murdock supplied eight ounces of methamphetamine to a co-conspirator during the operation and that he supplied additional amounts of methamphetamine to others involved in the conspiracy that were distributed in the Hot Springs area in March of 2016.  After learning of the arrest of one of his co-conspirator’s on March 14, 2016, Murdock left the Hot Springs area and returned to California, where he was ultimately arrested.  In November of 2017, while awaiting trial, Murdock was housed in the same cell as one of his co-conspirators.  Murdock forced the co-conspirator to write a letter to the Court and the AUSA prosecuting his case stating that Murdock was innocent of all charges.  The co-conspirator advised the Court and Jury that he felt that if he did not do what Murdock asked, there would be conflict, and that the letter Murdock had him write contained all lies.

Murdock was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury.  The Second Superseding Indictment was returned by the Federal Grand Jury on March 6, 2018.  Sentencing will be held at a later date.  The penalty for the count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine is not more than 20 years of imprisonment, not more than $1,000,000 fine, or both. The penalty for the count of aiding and abetting in the distribution of  methamphetamine is a mandatory minimum of 20 years,  and not more than life imprisonment; not more than a $20,000,000 fine, or both; a term of supervised release for not less than 10 years and up to life.  The penalty for count three, Witness Tampering, is not more than 20 years imprisonment, not more than $250,000 fine, or both. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court during a hearing to be held on a later date.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the local drug enforcement task force in Garland County, and the Arkansas State Police.  Assistant United States Attorneys David Harris and Kim Harris prosecuted the case for the United States.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated April 25, 2018