9 sentenced to 35 years prison time combined for local meth trafficking ring

Nine defendants have been sentenced to a combined total of 35 years federal prison time for methamphetamine trafficking across the state, including areas across the Twin Lakes. Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas; L. Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI; and David Etheredge, Prosecuting Attorney for the Fourteenth Judicial District Drug Task Force announced that on Tuesday and Thursday, ten individuals were sentenced by the United States District Court for their roles in a methamphetamine trafficking ring which operated in Boone, Baxter, Searcy, Newton, Carroll, and Washington Counties in Arkansas. The Honorable Chief Judge P.K. Holmes, III presided over the sentencing hearings in the United States District Court in Fort Smith.According to court records, on July 26, 2017, a federal grand jury returned a 20 count Indictment against 10 individuals in the Harrison, and Central Arkansas areas 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 2016. Arrests of the individuals sentenced on Tuesday and Thursday were conducted in a multi-agency operation in Harrison on August 17, 2017.

Defendants in this conspiracy received the following sentences:

Ricky Dwayne Moles, age 57, of Harrison was sentenced Tuesday to 70 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Moles was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in July 2017 and plead guilty in October 2017.

Vance Lynn Parnin, Jr., age 49, of Berryville was sentenced Tuesday to 78 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Parnin was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in July 2017 and plead guilty in October 2017.

Eric Lynn Friend, age 40, of Harrison, was sentenced Tuesday to 70 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Friend was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in July 2017 and plead guilty in October 2017.

Ricky William Akins a/k/a “Big Rick”, age 60, of Lead Hill, was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Akins was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in July 2017 and plead guilty in October 2017.

Brittnee Nicole Perkins, age 27, of Harrison, was sentenced Tuesday to 46 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Perkins was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in July 2017 and plead guilty in October 2017.

Julia Nicole Holley, age 32, of Little Rock, was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Holley was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in July 2017 and plead guilty in October 2017.

Amy Leann Friend-Hagler, age 37, of Greenbrier was sentenced Thursday to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $5,000.00 fine on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Friend-Hagler was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in July 2017 and plead guilty in October 2017.

Bobby Gene Ellis, Jr., age 44, of Harrison, was sentenced Thursday to 70 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Ellis was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in July 2017 and plead guilty in October 2017.

Melissa Haley Childs, age 31, of Harrison, was sentenced Thursday to 40 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Childs was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in July 2017 and plead guilty in October 2017.

A tenth co-defendant on the same indictment, Corky Ray Anglin, entered a plea of guilty to one count of distribution of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine on December 14, 2017 and is scheduled for sentencing on April 19, 2018.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the 14th Judicial Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Arkansas State Police, the Boone County Sheriff, the Newton County Sheriff, the Searcy County Sheriff, the Baxter County Sheriff, the Harrison Police Department, and the Arkansas National Guard Counter Drug. Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Carter is prosecuting the case for the Western District of Arkansas.

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