A federal judge in Texarkana sentenced several men involved in trafficking methamphetamine in the Hope, Ark., area to years-long prison terms this week.
LaQuan Haynes, aka “Quan” and “Lil’ Hayes,” was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Monday by U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey for conspiring to distribute kilos of meth in southern Arkansas. Haynes was designated a career offender because of his lengthy criminal history.
Hickey told Haynes his role as a leader in the conspiracy and the fact that he “maintained a drug premise,” contributed to the lengthy sentence as well. Haynes, 30, was on parole when he and others moved large quantities of illegal drugs in 2012 and 2013, Hickey said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wulff said that while federal guidelines indicate Haynes could receive a term of 30 years to life, the government would not object to the 20-year sentence because Haynes’ criminal history does not include convictions for assaultive offenses.
“A 20-year sentence is two thirds of his life,” said Haynes’ lawyer, Michael Todd of Dallas. “He’ll be close to 50 upon release.”
As several members of Haynes’ family, including his children, looked on, Hickey told Haynes his conduct and resulting prison sentence are punishment for his family as well.
Haynes and three other men were listed in an indictment handed down in 2014 by a grand jury in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas. Last year, Lamario “Juiceman” Henderson pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine and received a 27-month term.
James “Booty” Block, 26, was sentenced Monday by Hickey shortly after Haynes. Block received a six-year term for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Block’s lawyer, federal public defender Tiffany Fields, said Block has a drug problem and asked Hickey to recommend that he complete an intensive drug treatment program while in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ross prosecuted Block and co-defendant Billy “Carty” Florence, who appeared for sentencing Tuesday before Hickey. Florence received a 10-year sentence.
Like Haynes, Florence is designated a career offender because of his prior felony drug convictions, which include distribution of crack cocaine. Texarkana attorney John Pickett represented Florence.
At all of the hearings, Hickey spoke of the effect of drug trafficking on the lives of those who peddle them and those who use and become addicted to them.
“These drugs are not only affecting your life-you’re going to prison for selling them-but they hurt the people who buy them,” Hickey said. “Their families suffer. These drugs have ruined a lot of people in our community. You and a group of others are responsible for putting large amounts of drugs on the streets in southern Arkansas. It can’t be tolerated.”
Depending on their conduct while in jail, the men could receive up to 54 days per year of credit toward their sentences for good behavior. There is no parole from federal prison.