New Jersey man faces sentencing in Arkansas corruption case

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Federal prosecutors have recommended a reduced sentence for a New Jersey political consultant caught in an Arkansas political corruption case.

Donald “D.A.” Jones faces 33 to 41 months in prison when sentenced Monday in federal court in Philadelphia, where he previously pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge and his case was transferred to from federal court in Springfield, Missouri.

Prosecutors on Thursday filed a memorandum that was first reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette saying Jones should receive prison time, but deserves an unspecified reduced sentence because of his cooperation in the wide-ranging case that led to the convictions of several former Arkansas lawmakers.

Jones pleaded guilty in 2017 to conspiracy and admitted paying $219,000 in kickbacks to lobbyist Milton “Rusty” Cranford of Rogers and $45,000 to former state Rep. Eddie Cooper of Melbourne.

Cranford and Cooper both pleaded guilty.

Cranford admitted bribing former Sen. Jon Woods, Rep. Hank Wilkins and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson in an effort to increase revenue for the Missouri-based nonprofit Preferred Family HealthCare.

Woods was convicted and is appealing while Wilkins and Hutchinson, the nephew of Gov. Asa Hutchinson and son of former U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson, each pleaded guilty.

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