March 13, 2015
Contact: SA Debbie Webber
Phone Number: (504) 840-1100
Springdale Man Sentenced To Over Eight Years In Prison For Conspiracy To Distribute Methamphetamine
FORT SMITH, Ark. - Drug Enforcement (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Downing, and Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Octavio Torres-Rivas, aka Cesar Torres, age 46, a Mexican citizen residing in Springdale, Arkansas, was sentenced today on one count of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, namely Methamphetamine. Torres-Rivas was sentenced to 100 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a $2500.00 fine. The Honorable Robert T. Dawson presided over the sentencing in the United States District Court in Fort Smith.
“The collaborative effort of federal and local law enforcement in Arkansas, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has led to the sentencing of a Mexican drug dealer and ultimately safer streets within our community,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Downing. “Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that ravages many communities in our nation. Because of the positive results in this investigation, other meth traffickers in Arkansas are being put on notice that DEA and its law enforcement partners will not tolerate their continued efforts to distribute this insidious drug.”
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “The trafficking and distribution of illegal drugs represents a colossal problem in our communities, bringing crime and violence onto our streets and exposing our children to grave risks. The sentence announced today shows that our office, joined by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, remains committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal drug trafficking in Springdale and across the Western District of Arkansas.”
“Methamphetamine is a plague that drug traffickers inflict upon law-abiding communities without any regard for the violence and destruction that often accompanies its use,” said Special Agent in Charge of HSI New Orleans Raymond R. Parmer Jr. “This case illustrates the successful ongoing partnership between HSI and its partners with the Rogers Police Department, Springdale Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff's Office that continue to identify and bring Arkansas drug traffickers to justice.”
According to court records, in 2010, Homeland Security (HSI) began an investigation into a drug trafficking conspiracy operating in Northwest Arkansas that was involved in the distribution of methamphetamine. During the investigation, agents received information that implicated Torres-Rivas in the conspiracy. Specifically, agents learned from a confidential source that on at least one occasion, the confidential source had received methamphetamine after texting and requesting it from Torres-Rivas. Homeland Security Agents were able to corroborate this information by reviewing telephone records from Torres-Rivas’ phone, the confidential source’s phone, and by conducting surveillance. Additionally, agents were able to examine a cellular phone used by Torres-Rivas which contained text messages between Torres-Rivas and the confidential source that further corroborated this drug transaction. Torres-Rivas was arrested July 1, 2013, and pleaded guilty to the charge of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on July 1, 2014.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Rogers Police Department, the Springdale Police Department, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Candace Taylor prosecuted the case for the United States.