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Arkansas: Saline County man’s role in cocaine trafficking ring nets him 35-year prison sentence

A Saline County man convicted last year of heading up a cocaine distribution conspiracy in Central Arkansas was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison this week.

On Thursday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Brian Miller sentenced OC Rawls, 50, of Benton, to 420 months’ imprisonment.

Rawls was indicted in late 2019 along with five other people after a five-month investigation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration utilizing controlled narcotics buys, covert surveillance and wiretaps that prosecutors said implicated Rawls and several other people in cocaine trafficking in Central Arkansas.

Investigators began looking into the drug-trafficking activities of Rawls and several others beginning in January of 2019. Using a confidential informant, DEA agents made three controlled purchases of cocaine from Rawls. During the investigation, agents learned that Rawls and other members of his drug trafficking organization were traveling to Houston, Texas, to purchase kilogram quantities of cocaine for redistribution in the central-Arkansas area. In May 2019, agents executed search warrants at Rawls’ residence and the residences of several co-conspirators, confiscating cocaine, marijuana, firearms, ammunition, and approximately $19,000 in cash.

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