|Updated: 2/07 6:33 pm
||Published: 2/07 6:25 pm
A judge sentenced three people to prison time for several drug charges on Thursday.
According to attorney Christopher Thyer, 38-year-old Michael Meilke was sentenced for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, and 60 months imprisonment for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal drug trafficking offense, to run consecutive, for a total of 162 months imprisonment, and 5 years supervised release.
Also sentenced today was Paul Randall Hussey, age 41, of North Little Rock, Arkansas to 162 months imprisonment with 4 years supervised release for possession with intent to deliver more than 50 grams methamphetamine mixture.
Jorge Rojas-Olivera, age 27, of Batesville, Arkansas was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment and 5 years supervised release. Rojas-Olivera previously pleaded guilty to count one of the superseding indictment which charged Rojas-Olivera and his codefendants with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.
Upon the conclusion of the two-day sentencing hearing for Rojas-Olivera, Tuesday, United States District Judge J. Leon Holmes found Rojas-Olivera responsible for more than 15 kilograms of methamphetamine, for possession of a firearm, for making credible threats to use violence, for the offense involving the importation of methamphetamine, for maintaining a premises for the purpose of distributing methamphetamine, and for being an organizer or leader of criminal activity. Judge Holmes denied Rojas-Olivera a reduction for acceptance of responsibility.
Additionally, Judge Holmes found that the defendant attempted to obstruct justice by attempting to solicit the murder of a government witness. At the hearing, the United States presented evidence of phone calls between Rojas-Olivera and co-defendants where Rojas-Olivera discussed his methamphetamine distribution activities and drug debts, including calls where Rojas-Olivera threatened to kill a person who owed a drug debt, but law enforcement intervened to avoid any violence.
This investigation targeted a large scale drug trafficking organization distributing multipound quantities of methamphetamine in central, north, and northeast Arkansas. The methamphetamine was smuggled from Mexico to Arkansas for distribution. In total, law enforcement seized 13.3 pounds of methamphetamine, 7 vehicles, $163,590, and 5 guns.
"I would like to thank and commend all federal, state and local law enforcement who took part in the investigation of this case," stated Thyer. "It is a high priority to remove meth from our communities. More importantly, that we dismantle the criminal organizations bringing meth into
our communities. With the previous sentencings of members of this drug-trafficking organization and the sentencings of Meilke and Hussey today, justice has prevailed to prevent this operation from re-establishing itself. Additionally, the Rojas-Olivera sentence of 35 years reflects law enforcement's intolerance to criminals who lead drug organizations and threaten the administration of justice with violence, particularly violence against potential witnesses."
The superseding indictment, which charged 22 individuals, is the result of “Operation Meilke Way,” a multi-agency investigation led by DEA.
All 22 defendants have pleaded guilty, 18 defendants have been sentenced, and 4 defendants are awaiting sentencing.