El Dorado, Arkansas – David Clay Fowlkes, First Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Marcus Damon Howard, 42, of El Dorado, Arkansas, was sentenced on November 6, 2020, to 120 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and one count of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. The Honorable Chief Judge Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing, in the United States District Court’s El Dorado Division.
According to court records, on July 1, 2018, Investigators with the Criminal Apprehension Division (CAD), observed a vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign. As the vehicle continued travelling, Investigators observed the driver throw a cigarette pack wrapper out of the driver’s window. Based upon the observed violations, Investigators conducted a traffic stop. When the vehicle stopped, Investigators made contact with its driver and sole occupant Howard. Investigators were advised that Howard was on active state parole and had a search wavier on file. A search of the vehicle resulted in Investigators locating a clear plastic bag that contained 18 smaller plastic baggies of suspected marijuana and 2 baggies of suspected methamphetamine. CAD Investigators also conducted a search of Howard’s residence. That search resulted in Investigators locating three firearms, miscellaneous drug paraphernalia, fentanyl, additional marijuana and additional methamphetamine.
The suspected fentanyl and methamphetamine were sent to the DEA Crime laboratory for analysis. The laboratory was able to confirm positive test results for fentanyl and methamphetamine.
Howard was indicted by a federal grand jury in November of 2019, and entered a guilty plea in June of 2020.
This case was prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice=s Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, which is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of firearms and improving the safety of residents in the Western District of Arkansas. Participants in the initiative include federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force, El Dorado Police Department, and Union County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Graham Jones prosecuted the case for the Western District of Arkansas.