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Narcotics
10/09/2020

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ICE HSI investigation leads to 25-year sentence for drug trafficking leader

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the leader and final member of an Arkansas-based drug trafficking organization was sentenced in the Western District of Arkansas to 25 years in prison on Oct. 6 for conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Marion Wise, of Cave Springs, Arkansas, was sentenced to 300 months followed by five years of supervised release. Wise is the last member of 25 individuals sentenced for their roles in a heroin and methamphetamine trafficking ring that operated in Benton and Washington Counties in Arkansas, and in California, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona, and Mexico. The joint HSI Fayetteville and Drug Enforcement Administration Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation of this operation began in mid-2018.

“Those who deal in narcotics trafficking posed a deadly threat, bringing in dangerous and addictive drugs and related criminal activity to our communities. This lengthy sentence reflects the seriousness of the crimes and the lack of tolerance for the endangerment to our citizens,” said HSI New Orleans acting Special Agent in Charge Gilbert Trill. “Our special agents are deeply committed to working with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking efforts in our communities.”

The 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 narcotics were distributed in communities throughout the state. Two heroin and fentanyl related overdose deaths were tied to the investigation.

Additional sentencings in this investigation included:

  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

This case was the result of the ongoing OCDETF efforts – a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal OCDETF mission is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises. Law enforcement investigative partners included DEA Fayetteville and Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Benton County and Rogers Police Department Narcotics Unit; the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force; 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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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/14/2020