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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 3, 2015

New Jersey Man Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For Conspiracy To Distribute Methmaphetamine

El Dorado, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Anthony F. Winters, age 51, of Longvalley, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 48 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in El Dorado.

U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “With today’s sentence, Arkadelphia and the surrounding community have become a safer place for all residents. Our office is committed to eliminating the trafficking of illegal drugs and the violence and other crime it brings with it. I would like to thank the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the Arkansas State Police, the Group 6 Task Force, and the DEA for all their hard work throughout this entire investigation.”

Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson praised the efforts of all the special agents, investigators and officers involved in this extended investigation. Watson commented, “The public expects and deserves the kind of collaboration that was involved in this case. This was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Clark County Prosecutor’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Highway Police, Group 6 Task Force, Arkadelphia Police Department, and Clark County Sheriff’s Department that would not have been possible by any one of these agencies alone.” Watson stated further "The investigation involved hundreds of hours by officers too numerous to mention, but they all deserve credit for their efforts in this investigation; I am very proud of this positive outcome.” Clark County Prosecutor Blake Batson and Sheriff Watson thanked U.S. Attorney Eldridge for his continued assistance in combating drug trafficking in Clark County.

“By working together, DEA and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners are utilizing our respective resources and expertise to achieve results that we could not accomplish on our own. Our combined efforts are making communities in the Western District of Arkansas safer by disrupting the flow of dangerous drugs to our neighborhoods. The sentencing today should put others who engage in this type of activity on notice: if you distribute illegal drugs you will face federal charges and a lengthy prison sentence,” state DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Downing.

According to court records, beginning in October 2013, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Group 6 Drug Task Force and the Arkansas State Police initiated an investigation into a drug trafficking organization involved in the distribution of multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine in Southwest Arkansas. During the investigation, agents learned that Anthony Winters was an out-of-state distributor of multi-ounce quantities of methamphetamine that originated in Clark County. After further investigation, DEA began setting up an undercover sting operation in Clark County targeting Winters. During April, 2014, Winters traveled from New Jersey to Arkansas in order to pick up a supply of methamphetamine and take it back to New Jersey for distribution. Upon his arrival at the agreed upon location in Clark County, Winters was provided with a shrink wrapped block of counterfeit substance represented to be a half pound (or eight ounces) of methamphetamine. In exchange for that counterfeit substance, Winters exchanged two signed business account checks, and mentioned that he priced the methamphetamine out for $3,000 an ounce to another distributor in New Jersey. After the transaction was completed, Winters was stopped in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, by an Arkansas State Trooper and arrested on a federal warrant. The shrink-wrapped counterfeit substance was found wrapped in a red sleeping bag in the rear passenger area of the pickup truck Winters was driving. Winters was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on May 7, 2014, and pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on December 1, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Group 6 Drug Task Force, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Arkadelphia Police Department, and the Arkansas State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Ben Wulff 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

Updated April 10, 2015