Gang leader sentenced to 20 years in prison

McDaniel guilty on federal charges From the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK — Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas; along with David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Colonel William J. Bryant, of the Arkansas State Police; and Donald Oakes, Chief of the West Memphis Police Department; announced late last week that Rafael McDaniel, 33, of West Memphis, Arkansas, was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment following his convictions before Chief U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller. On March 20, 2015, McDaniel was convicted of drug trafficking and firearms offenses following a jury trial before Chief Judge Miller. At today’s sentencing hearing Chief Judge Miller determined that McDaniel was responsible for the distribution of between 840 grams and 2.8 kilograms of crack cocaine in West Memphis between January 2012 through November 2013. Chief Judge Miller further enhanced McDaniel’s sentence because McDaniel obstructed justice by lying about his drug and gun activities during his testimony at trial. Chief Judge Miller sentenced McDaniel to 15 years’ imprisonment on the drug trafficking offenses and a consecutive five years on the firearm offense, for a total of 20 years. There is no parole in the federal system. McDaniel will serve a term of four years of supervised release following his release from imprisonment, and must pay a $400 special assessment. “We are committed to working together in this district to dismantle drug trafficking organizations operating in our communities,” stated Thyer. “When local law enforcement asks for assistance from federal partners as the West Memphis Police Department did in this case, everyone benefits. Law enforcement, at all levels, is able to take advantage of increased manpower and resources to bring a case to a successful close. “Our commitment to eradicating drug trafficking and violent crime has never been stronger. With this conviction, another violent drug dealer has been removed from the streets for a very long time.” “Today’s sentencing is a reflection of our continued commitment to addressing crime in Northeast Arkansas,” SAC Resch said. “We appreciate the efforts of our partners, the United States Attorney’s Office, Arkansas State Police, and the West Memphis Police Department.” “Operation Delta Crossroads made a tremendous impact on our community,” West Memphis Police Chief Oakes said. “Many of the subjects arrested in Operation Delta Crossroads were extremely violent while they funneled drugs into our neighborhoods. This case is an example of the positive influence that we can have on a community when local, state, and federal agencies cooperate with each other.”

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