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Three Sentenced to a Total of Almost 31 Years for Drug Trafficking Offenses in Operation Three Amigos

JAN 19 (EL DORADO, Ark.) – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Matthew Barden and Kenneth Elser, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that three men were sentenced today for the distribution of controlled substances stemming from an earlier investigation dubbed Operation Three Amigos in February 2015. 

Sheldon “Yak” Mitchell, 34, of Camden, Arkansas, was sentenced to 63 months imprisonment followed by three years supervised release for Distribution of Cocaine Base;  Mario “Hoodie” Thomas, 37, of Hampton, Arkansas, was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment followed by four years supervised release for Distribution of Cocaine Base; Senica “Big Howard” Howard, 37, of Strong, Arkansas, was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment followed by three years supervised release for Distribution of Methamphetamine.  The Honorable Susan O. Hickey handed down the sentences in United States District Court in El Dorado.
           
According to court records, on April 10, 2013, investigators utilized a confidential informant to arrange the purchase of crack cocaine from Sheldon Mitchell in which Mitchell agreed to provide the informant an ounce of crack cocaine for $1,050. The next day the informant traveled to Mitchell’s residence in Camden to meet Mitchell. During this meeting, Mitchell provided the informant with a baggie containing a rock-like substance represented to be crack cocaine in exchange for $1,050.  The rock-like substance was turned over to the officers and subsequently sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory where it was determined to be 20.0 grams of cocaine base. A Federal Grand Jury issued an indictment for Mitchell on August 13, 2014, and he pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine base on August May, 15, 2015.

On March 15, 2013, law enforcement arranged for a controlled purchase of crack cocaine from Mario Thomas.  With officers maintaining surveillance, a confidential informant arrived at Thomas’ residence in Camden, Arkansas, and Thomas provided the informant with a baggie containing a rock-like substance represented to be an ounce of crack cocaine in exchange for $1,200. The suspected crack cocaine was submitted to the Arkansas State Crime lab where it was confirmed to be 51.6 grams of cocaine base. A Federal Grand Jury issued an indictment for Thomas on August 13, 2014, and he pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine base on April 8, 2015.

Law enforcement agents utilized a confidential informant to arrange for a controlled purchase of methamphetamine from Senica Howard on August 6, 2014.  While under officer surveillance, the informant met with Howard in Strong, Arkansas, at Howard’s residence where Howard provided a baggie containing a substance he represented to be a half-ounce of methamphetamine in exchange for $1,200.  The suspected methamphetamine was submitted to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory where it was confirmed to be 10.7 grams of actual methamphetamine.  A Federal Grand Jury issued an indictment for Thomas on January 13, 2015, and he pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of methamphetamine on June 22, 2015.

Operation Three Amigos was a joint operation between the DEA, the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force, the Camden Police Department, the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office, the Little Rock FBI Division, the Ouachita County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Arkansas State Police.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.  

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