6 convicted and sentenced for distributing and trafficking meth in Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas News

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Six people were arrested and charged for a total of over 75 years in federal prison after a drug trafficking ring was discovered in Benton County.

According to court records, in early 2019, Homeland Security Investigations Fayetteville initiated an investigation which revealed that a methamphetamine distributor in Los Angeles, Zeache Rose, would supply methamphetamine to local sellers of methamphetamine Michael Smith, Craig Kelley and Joseph James, who would sell it in smaller amounts locally in Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri.

Rose would utilize couriers DaJohn Alexander and Marcus Jones, who would transport the methamphetamine in luggage smuggled on to commercial aircraft or buses traveling from California to Arkansas. 

In total, more than 13 kilograms of pure methamphetamine was seized as part of this operation.

The defendants are listed below with their charges and sentences:

  • Zeache Rose, 25, the leader of the organization from Los Angeles, California was sentenced in December to 15 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of money laundering.  Rose was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas on March 4, 2020, and plead guilty on July 1, 2020.
  • Michael Smith, 43, a distributor of methamphetamine from Anderson, Missouri was sentenced October 7, 2020 to 12 and a half years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count of possession with intent to distribute more than fifty grams of methamphetamine. Smith was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas on November 20, 2019 and plead guilty on December 9, 2019.
  • Joseph James, 39, a distributor of methamphetamine from Siloam Springs, Arkansas was sentenced December 8, 2020 to 10 years in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute more Than 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine. James was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas on August 16, 2019 and plead guilty on October 3, 2019.
  • Craig Kelley, 45, a distributor of methamphetamine from Eureka Springs, Arkansas was sentenced August 12, 2020 to 20 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count of distribution of more than five grams of methamphetamine. Kelley was indicted in the Western District of Arkansas on March 4, 2020 and plead guilty on May 1, 2020.
  • DaJohn Alexander, 21, a transporter of methamphetamine from Los Angeles, California, was sentenced November 4, 2020 to over eight years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Alexander was charged by information and entered a plea of guilty on July 2, 2020.
  • Marcus Jones, 27, a transporter of methamphetamine from Los Angeles, California, was sentenced April 14, 2021, to 10 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Jones was charged by information and entered a plea of guilty on December 2, 2020.

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