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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Seven Defendants Sentenced To Over 39 Years Combined For Methamphetamine Trafficking In Fort Smith, Arkansas Area

Fort Smith, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas announced today that seven individuals were sentenced by the United States District Court for their roles in a methamphetamine trafficking ring, which operated in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. The Honorable P.K. Holmes, III presided over the sentencing hearings in the United States District Court in Fort Smith.

According to court records, on June 5, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a sixteen (16) count Indictment against eight (8) individuals in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area for activities in a large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy.  This drug trafficking ring was responsible for the distribution of multiple kilograms of methamphetamine dating back as far as early 2015.

Defendants in this conspiracy received the following sentences:

Brian Christopher Jones, age 38, of Fort Smith, Arkansas was sentenced yesterday to 240 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Jones was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in June 2018 and plead guilty in August 2018.

Tina Renee Branson, age 53, of Winslow, Arkansas was sentenced yesterday to 24 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Branson was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in June 2018 and plead guilty in August 2018.

Christopher Mitchell Harbour, age 42, of Fort Smith, Arkansas was sentenced yesterday to 46 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Harbour was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in June 2018 and plead guilty in October 2018.

Amber Dawn Boursh, age 37, of Mountainburg, Arkansas was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Boursh was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in June 2018 and plead guilty in August 2018.

Belinda Marvelle McBay, age 47, of Fort Smith, Arkansas was sentenced today to 51 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. McBay was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in June 2018 and plead guilty in October 2018.

April Jo Thompson, age 35, of Camden, Arkansas was sentenced today to 41 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Thompson was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in June 2018 and plead guilty in October 2018.

Jimmy Franklin Fore, age 57, of Paris, Arkansas was sentenced today to 51 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Felon in Possession of a Firearm to run concurrently. Fore was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in June 2018 and plead guilty in July 2018.

An eighth co-defendant on the same Indictment, Dylan Dempsey, entered a plea of guilty to one (1) count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on February 20, 2019 and will be sentenced at a later date.           

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the 12th Judicial Drug Task Force, the 21st Judicial Drug Task Force, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office, the Fort Smith Police Department, the Van Buren Police Department and the Arkansas National Guard Counter Drug. Assistant United States Attorney’s Candace Taylor and Aaron Jennen is prosecuting the case for the Western District of Arkansas.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 21, 2019