The organization is alleged to be led by Britney Allen, 33, of Jacksonville. The indictment, which was returned by a Grand Jury on Sept. 11, 2020, and unsealed Sept. 22, named 20 other defendants alleged to be part of Allen’s organization. Law enforcement officers arrested 13 individuals in the early morning hours and served an arrest warrant Tuesday on one defendant already in state custody. Seven defendants are currently considered fugitives (scroll to the end to see defendant list).
This investigation, named Operation Wagon Wheel, was the result of several law enforcement agencies, led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), attacking the drug-trafficking organization on multiple fronts. During the investigation, which began in 2019, the DEA utilized court-authorized wiretaps to intercept hundreds of drug-trafficking calls, primarily involving Allen. Law enforcement officers, including DEA agents and several local police departments, conducted more than 10 controlled purchases of methamphetamine or heroin. Numerous seizures following local police arrests occurred as well. More than 10 kilograms of methamphetamine, and multiple ounces of heroin and cocaine have been seized, along with more than $50,000. At least eight firearms have also been recovered from the organization.
During arrest operations Tuesday morning, agents recovered several more ounces of methamphetamine and cocaine and approximately an additional $10,000 in suspected drug proceeds.
“This operation has taken 21 drug dealers off the streets of our communities,” stated Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. “Drugs and violence go hand in hand, and removing firearms from these offenders is a major step towards creating a safer community. We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to keep our district safe from the violence that accompanies drug trafficking.”
In addition, during the investigation officers discovered Allen was acquiring methamphetamine through the mail. The DEA and United States Postal Service identified numerous suspected drug packages being sent through the mail and recovered more than three pounds of methamphetamine.
“The Postal Inspection Service will spare no effort to disrupt criminal enterprises and present those involved for prosecution,” said Ketty Larco, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Fort Worth Division. “Postal Inspectors are committed to disrupting the activities of those who use the U.S. Mail in the course of their criminal activities. These arrests represent a commitment to safeguarding the Postal Service and its customers, and we appreciate the excellent work by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in addition to partnering federal and local agencies.”
Officers also executed search warrants at various houses alleged to be used by Allen and his associates to house and distribute drugs. The DEA coordinated with numerous local police agencies to adopt state charges into the overarching federal case. In all, the 21 defendants are named in 48 different counts.
The defendants include multiple individuals who have previously been convicted of state felonies, including prior convictions for drug trafficking or firearm possession.
“The damage caused by drugs and violence affects everyone across the nation, including here in the Eastern District of Arkansas,” DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Justin King said. “Our neighborhoods deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by violent drug gangs. The indictments and arrests of these individuals should be a warning to others who prey on the weak and defenseless through their drug trafficking and violent acts. We will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners to relentlessly pursue these violent criminals and drug traffickers plaguing our communities.”
The investigation was led by the DEA, North Little Rock Police Department, and United States Postal Service, with assistance from the Sherwood Police Department, Jacksonville Police Department, Conway Police Department, Pulaski County Sherriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Department of Community Corrections, Beebe Police Department, Saline County Sheriff’s Office, and the 14th Judicial Drug Task Force.
The charges in today’s unsealed indictment include conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine; distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; felon in possession of a firearm; and use of a phone to facilitate a drug-trafficking crime.
The maximum penalty for the drug charges is not less than 10 years in prison and up to life imprisonment and a $10,000,000 fine. The maximum penalty for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime is not less than five years in prison and up to life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm is 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for use of a phone to facilitate a drug-trafficking crime is four years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
The defendants arrested today will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia S. Harris on September 23, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. for plea and arraignment. The case, docketed as Case No. 4:20CR00267 DPM, is pending before U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky, and the trial date will be announced at plea and arraignment. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chris Givens.
The defendants charged include:
- Britney Decore Allen, aka “Big B”, 33, Jacksonville
- Shakeba Allen, 35, Jacksonville, AR
- Scott Nickson Cain, 46, Jacksonville
- Cassandra Chambers, 36, Stuttgart
- Brittney Craig, aka/ “Brittney Dismuke”, 40, Searcy
- Shane Anthony Daugherty, 44, Sherwood
- Francisco Manuel Deltoro, 27, North Little Rock
- Tavio Gustravus Garrison, 32, North Little Rock
- Marlena Hales, 36, Beebe
- Jason Patrick Jackson, 34, Searcy
- Anthony Neal Reeves, 39, Stuttgart
- April Jeanette South, 31, Jacksonville
- Andrew David Womble, 35; North Little Rock
- Cojan Bailey, aka “Cojan Owens”, aka “Cogee”, 44, Roe
- Joshua Dean Bath, 43, Flippin
- Michael Birts, aka “Lil’ Mike”, 28, Jacksonville
- Kevin Lamont Jarrett, 24, Jacksonville
- Shameka McClain, 37, Jacksonville
- Anthony Charles Rowland, aka “Duck”, aka “D”, 41, Jacksonville
- Nichlaus Vetor, 41, Greenbrier
In State Custody
- James Cunningham, 25, Conway
An indictment contains only allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.