A Saline County man was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Thursday afternoon, United States District Judge Brian S. Miller sentenced O.C. Rawls, 50, of Benton, to 420 months of imprisonment.
The case is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration 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 cocaine in quantities of kilograms, for redistribution in the central-Arkansas area.
In May 2019, agents executed search warrants at Rawls’ residence and the residences of several co-conspirators. Agents recovered cocaine, marijuana, firearms, ammunition, and approximately $19,000 in cash.
Rawls was charged in November 2019 with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, and three counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine. The defendant was convicted after a two-day jury trial in July 2022.
Rawls has a prior federal criminal conviction for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, for which he received 150 months of imprisonment in 2006. He received a sentencing enhancement in this case for committing another drug-trafficking offense.
In addition to the 35-year prison sentence, Judge Miller sentenced Rawls to serve ten years of supervised release following imprisonment and pay a $400 special assessment. There is no parole in the federal system.