FAYETTEVILLE — On Tuesday Oct. 6, Marion Wise of Cave Springs, Arkansas, was sentenced to 25 years in prison conspiracy to distribute heroin. Wise is the final of 25 individuals responsible for a wide-ranging drug conspiracy to be sentenced.

David Clay Fowlkes, First Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and Brad L. Byerley, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, announced today that all 25 individuals have now been sentenced by the United States District Court for their roles in a heroin and methamphetamine trafficking ring that operated in Benton and Washington Counties in Arkansas and also in the additional jurisdictions of California, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona and Mexico. The investigation and prosecution of this operation began mid-2018 through the October 6, 2020 sentencing. The Honorable Judge Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearings in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.

“Heroin and fentanyl drug use has reached epidemic proportions in many communities across the United States. These drugs are terribly addictive and extremely dangerous. The overdose deaths investigated in this operation are proof of how deadly these drugs are. This case is an excellent example of our plan to keep the trafficking of these drugs from causing even more deaths and even more damage to our communities in Northwest Arkansas. We will continue to focus our Federal Criminal Resources to investigate, convict, and obtain lengthy sentences for all those who would seek to import and distribute these deadly drugs into the Western District of Arkansas,” said First Assistant US Attorney David Clay Fowlkes.

“Nothing is more important than keeping our communities safe. DEA, along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, will continue to utilize our combined resources to target individuals trafficking drugs and guns, threatening the safety of our citizens in this region of Arkansas and throughout the country. These convictions send a message of our unending resolve to pursue drug traffickers who wreak havoc in our communities,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley.

Federal grand juries returned multi-count indictments against 25 individuals in the Northwest Arkansas area and beyond for their roles in a large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy. This drug trafficking ring imported multiple kilograms of heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl into the Northwest Arkansas area from out of state for local distribution. Once sold to retail distributors, the heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl were distributed in communities throughout Northwest Arkansas. Two heroin/fentanyl related overdose deaths were tied to the investigation.

Defendants in this conspiracy received the following sentences:

Marion Wise, 50, of Cave Springs, Arkansas, was sentenced Oct. 6, 2020, to 25 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin. Wise was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty to an information in Feb. 2020.

Sherry Finn, 44, of Bella Vista, Arkansas, was sentenced Oct. 6, 2020, to 77 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin. Finn was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty to an information in Feb. 2020

Michael Wells, 49, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was sentenced May 20, 2020, to 68 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin. Wells was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Nov. 6, 2019.

Ari Sorto, 28, of Springdale, Arkansas, was sentenced May 19, 2020, to eight years in federal prison followed by one year of supervised release on two counts of Knowingly Using a Communication Facility in a Drug Trafficking Crime. Sorto was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Jan. 7, 2020.

Cole Coleman, 29, of Bentonville, Arkansas, was sentenced April 17, 2020, to 87 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin. Coleman was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Nov. 22, 2019.

Blaine Dehosse, 33, of Rogers, Arkansas, was sentenced April 17, 2020, to 106 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin and one count of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking Offense. Dehosse was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Jan. 23, 2020.

Jonathan Hannah, 35, of Rogers, Arkansas, was sentenced Feb. 13, 2020, to 54 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Maintaining Drug-Involved Premises. Hannah was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas in and plead guilty on Sept. 26, 2019.

Stephanie Coleman, 47, of Bentonville, Arkansas, was sentenced Jan. 29, 2020, to 18 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin. Coleman was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Nov. 22, 2019.

Kourtney Wilson, 31, of Joplin, Missouri, was sentenced Jan. 29, 2020, to one year in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Distribution of Heroin. Wilson was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Oct. 22, 2019.

Robert Johnston, 54, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was sentenced Jan. 29, 2020, to 46 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin. Johnston was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Oct. 25, 2019.

Jennie Nutt, 59, of Rogers, Arkansas, was sentenced Jan. 28, 2020, to three years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin. Nutt was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Oct. 23, 2019.

Adrian Oviedo, 36, of Springdale, Arkansas, was sentenced Sept. 18, 2019, to 330 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count each of Aiding and Abetting in the Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Felon in Possession of a firearm. Oviedo was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on July 9, 2019.

Brenda Martinez-Blevins, 48, of Springdale, Arkansas, was sentenced Aug. 22, 2019, to one year in federal prison on one count of Failure to Depart. Martinez-Blevins was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on May 3, 2019.

Vernon Williams, 53, of Watts, Oklahoma, was sentenced Aug. 14, 2019, to 248 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count of Distribution of More Than 50 Grams of Actual Methamphetamine. Williams was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Mar. 12, 2019.

Gabriel Whitener, 36, of Watts, Oklahoma, was sentenced Aug. 14, 2019, to 210 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances. Whitener was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Mar. 12, 2019.

Aaron Bevill, 38, of Gravette, Arkansas, was sentenced Aug. 13, 2019, to 142 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances. Bevill was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Mar. 12, 2019.

Gregory Jobe, 32, of Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, was sentenced July 31, 2019, to 15 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Distribution of Heroin. Jobe was previously indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Mar. 4, 2019.

Connie Sherrell, 56, of Watts, Oklahoma, was sentenced June 10, 2019, to 62 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances. Sherrell was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Feb. 19, 2019.

Harold Campbell, 36, of Rogers, Arkansas, was sentenced June 10, 2019, to 37 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin. Campbell was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Nov. 8, 2018.

Tyler Dellinger, 29, of Bella Vista, Arkansas, was sentenced May 11, 2020, to 13 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance and one count of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. Dellinger was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Feb. 4, 2020.

Matthew Woodrome, 38, of Rogers, Arkansas, was sentenced May 8, 2019, to seven years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin. Woodrome was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Nov. 8, 2018.

Robert Peeler, 31, of Rogers, Arkansas, was sentenced April 19, 2019, to 27 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin. Peeler was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Dec. 7, 2018.

David Moore, 32, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, was sentenced April 4, 2019, to 46 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin. Moore was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Nov. 15, 2018.

David Garduno, 35, of Rogers, Arkansas, was sentenced April 2, 2019, to 51 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Distribution of Heroin. Garduno was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Nov. 7, 2018.

John Botson, 27, of Garfield, Arkansas, was sentenced March 5, 2019, to 157 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin. Botson was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas and plead guilty on Nov. 7, 2018.

This prosecution was part of the Western District of Arkansas’ Operation Sticking Points, which is part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program. The OCDETF program is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy. OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illicit drug supply.

This OCDETF case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Fayetteville, Arkansas and Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Benton County/Rogers PD Narcotic Unit, the 4th JDDTF, Arkansas State Probation and Parole and the Arkansas National Guard Counter-Drug Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly Harris, Dustin Roberts and David Harris prosecuted the cases for the Western District of Arkansas.

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