Three Federal Trials: Three Guilty Verdicts | USAO-EDAR

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Three Federal Trials: Three Guilty Verdicts | USAO-EDAR
Three Federal Trials: Three Guilty Verdicts | USAO-EDAR

LITTLE ROCK – The week of July 26, 2021 brought three convictions in separate federal trials. A combination of delays caused by the pandemic and a significant increase in the number of cases resulted in four simultaneous jury trials in a federal court last week. One trial is expected to take several weeks, the other three concluded last week with the conviction of three defendants.

The first trial of the week started on Monday morning with a case in which Sparkle Hobbs, aka Sparkle Bryant, 33, of Little Rock, was charged with conspiracy to possess the property with intent to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl. She was also charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, possession of firearms to promote a drug trafficking crime, and disappearance (concealment) of a crime.

The evidence at the trial indicated that Hobbs had sold methamphetamine to an informant, which resulted in a search warrant on her home in February 2018. Law enforcement found five firearms, about $ 29,000 in cash, 103 grams of fentanyl, and 497 grams of methamphetamine. 049 grams of heroin in the residence. The jury returned their guilty verdict on Tuesday night. The Drug Enforcement Administration; Office for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and the Arkansas State Police conducted the investigation, which is part of an operation by the Task Forces to Combat Organized Crime (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the top criminal organizations threatening the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence, inter-agency approach. More information about the OCDETF program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF. The case was followed up by US assistant attorneys Anne Gardner and Amanda Jegley and heard before US District Judge Kristine G. Baker.

The second guilty verdict of the week came on Friday morning. A jury convicted Darby Leroy Williams, 30, of North Little Rock, of being a felon in possession of two firearms and ammunition. Williams has committed previous crimes for drug trafficking and is suspended for those convictions. Law enforcement agencies received information from his residence that Williams was a drug dealer. In March 2018, the North Little Rock Police Department (NLRPD) and Arkansas Community Corrections (ACC) conducted a probation search of Williams’ home and found two handguns, a Glock and a Ruger, both loaded, and ammunition. Methamphetamine and marijuana. The case has been investigated by NLRPD, ACC, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by US Assistant Attorneys Cameron McCree and Lauren Eldridge and also tried before Judge Baker.

The final verdict came late Friday night when jurors paused for just 20 minutes after hearing the evidence against Beebe’s Ryan Kinsey, 35, who was charged with Social Security fraud and a material false testimony to the Social Security Administration ( SSA). Kinsey was originally approved for Social Security Disability benefits in 2013 and these benefits continued in June 2018. Part of the paperwork Kinsey completed in May 2018 to renew his services included sections confirming that he was not working and that he was physically unable to work due to his disability. But even in June 2018, an SSA agent at the Searcy field office noticed that Kinsey looked like he was working due to the appearance of Kinsey and the fact that he arrived at the office in a truck with a large horse trailer . A subsequent SSA-OIG investigation found that Kinsey had worked as a horse breeder on his family farm in Beebe. At the trial, the United States called numerous witnesses, all of whom testified that it either bought horses or hay from Kinsey, or had Kinsey cattle transported during the alleged periods. In the 15 months leading up to the indictment, Kinsey received more than $ 100,000 in payments for his ranch activities. During the same period, he fraudulently received more than $ 20,000 from SSA. The case was investigated by SSA-OIG, followed up by US Assistant Attorneys Bart Dickinson and Chris Givens, and tried before US District Judge Lee P. Rudofsky.

The fourth trial, which began last week, United States versus Gilbert Baker, is expected to last several weeks and was interrupted by one of the study participants due to a positive COVID-19 test. It is planned to resume on Tuesday morning until the remaining study participants have negative COVID-19 test results.

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This press release and further information about the office of the

US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, is available online at

https://www.justice.gov/edar

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