Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Christopher Demarkus Nard, aka Joseph Nard, aka “Killa Chris”, age 29, of Texarkana, Texas, was sentenced today to 75 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. The Honorable Harry F. Barnes presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Texarkana.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “Felons in possession of firearms have no place in our communities as they pose a serious threat of harm to our police officers and citizens. Our office, along local, state, and federal law enforcement, will continue to relentlessly investigate and prosecute these types of cases in order to keep communities throughout the Western District of Arkansas safe from senseless violence.”
According to court records, on September 19, 2013, after receiving information that Nard was selling methamphetamine from a hotel room in Texarkana, Arkansas, detectives with the Bi-State Narcotics Task Force began conducting surveillance of the hotel room they believed Nard was located. Detectives were able to observe numerous vehicles arriving at Nard’s hotel room and leaving after a short time. Based on this suspicious behavior, detectives chose to conduct traffic stops of vehicles after they departed from Nard’s hotel room. Methamphetamine and/or other narcotics were obtained from at least four of these vehicles. Following arrests, some of the defendants stated to the detectives that they had purchased the illegal drugs from Nard at his hotel room. Detectives then made contact with Nard to speak with him concerning their investigation after observing him leave his hotel room. As a result of that contact, Nard was arrested for possession of marijuana. After detectives informed Nard that he had been under surveillance, they asked for consent to search his hotel room that he was sharing with his girlfriend. Nard signed a consent form for detectives to search his room, and explained that he was responsible for any illegal items found in the room. During the search of the room, detectives found two electronic scales, methamphetamine residue, baggies, and a loaded, semi-automatic FIE, model E28, .25 caliber pistol hidden in the coffee maker under the sink, which detectives were later able to confirm had traveled in interstate commerce. After being booked for possession of marijuana, during a post-Miranda statement, Nard admitted to detectives that he owned the handgun and was selling methamphetamine from his hotel room to two of the men previously arrested immediately after leaving Nard’s hotel room. Nard was prohibited from possessing a firearm, as he had a previous felony conviction for Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Cocaine, punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year. A Federal Grand Jury issued an indictment for Nard on October 30, 2013, and Nard pleaded guilty to one count of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm on August 15, 2014.
This case was investigated by the Bi-State Narcotics Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Ross prosecuted the case for the United States.