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DEA ‘dismantles’ Arkansas meth and money laundering ring that funded trucking company


This week, federal authorities sentenced the last person involved in a drug operation that funded a trucking company, “effectively bringing to a close the significant criminal activities of an eastern Arkansas drug trafficking and money laundering organization.”

On Thursday, Termaine Ontario Slaughter, 36, was sentenced to seven and a half years in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Slaughter pleaded guilty late last year to to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

During his sentencing, Slaughter agreed to forfeit numerous firearms and five vehicles, including four over-the-road trucks used by his trucking company and a Dodge Challenger.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Arkansas, Slaughter is the fourth and final defendant to be sentenced in connection to a large-scale methamphetamine and money laundering operation.

Authorities say that from 2014 through 2018, Slaughter and co-defendants Demario Smith, 40, of Southaven, Miss., Elliott Davis, 41, of Colt, Montana Smith, 45, of Parkin, were involved in a meth distribution operation in Forrest City, Arkansas. The operation reportedly involved the use of couriers who rode the MegaBus from Memphis to Dallas and back to import meth from the Dallas area. The group also imported meth from California via U.S. mail and other mailing services.

Drug proceeds were reportedly used to fund trucking company Prudent Transport as well as a rental property business called Upscale Properties.

“Analysis showed that there were $877,359.60 in cash expenditures on vehicles and other items that did not come from the accounts, including the purchase of tractor trailers for the trucking business,” authorities said.

In November 2020,  Demario Smith pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and on May 26, 2021, was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

In November 2020, Davis pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and on June 8, 2021, he was sentenced to 51 months in prison.

In November 2020, Montana Smith pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony, and on June 9, 2021, he was sentenced to five years’ probation.

“This investigation is an extraordinary example of thorough and methodical financial exploitation in order to disrupt and dismantle the financial infrastructure of these methamphetamine drug trafficking organizations,” Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jarad Harper said. “The DEA will relentlessly pursue, exploit, and seize these illicit assets drug traffickers intentionally and nefariously conceal to circumvent reporting requirements. Working with all of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to combine our resources in order to identify these ill-gotten funds used to facilitate drug trafficking and violent crime in our region. By depleting these drug traffickers of their proceeds and eliminating their ability to continue distributing this poison in Arkansas and beyond, we are saving lives.”

The case was investigated by the DEA-Little Rock Field Office and IRS-Criminal Investigation, along with assistance from the Little Rock Police Department.


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