Washington County Man Sentenced to Over 12 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking

Washington County Man Sentenced to Over 12 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking

FAYETTEVILLE – A Washington County, Arkansas, man was sentenced today to 151 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. The Honorable Judge Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.

According to court documents, on or about October 22, 2021, an officer with the Tontitown police department initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle operated by Luis Gabriel Cardenas, age 35, for speeding. Cardenas attempted to flee the stop by speeding away and later attempted to crash with the pursuing officer. While attempting to turn a corner at high speed, Cardenas’s vehicle overturned.

The officer approached the vehicle but was unable to see Cardenas because of the tinted windows. The officer asked Cardenas if there was a gun in the vehicle to which Cardenas responded “yes.” The officer broke the driver’s side window to communicate with Cardenas who appeared trapped in the vehicle and injured. The officer asked Cardenas for the location of the gun and Cardenas stated it was in a bag. The officer was able to see a backpack near Cardenas and pulled it from the vehicle.

A search of the backpack revealed a loaded firearm, multiple plastic baggies containing suspected methamphetamine and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia.

The suspected methamphetamine was subsequently sent to the Homeland Security Investigations Crime Laboratory where it tested positive for methamphetamine.

U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement.

The Tontitown Police Department and the Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hunter Bridges prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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