Trumann man receives life sentence

Thursday, February 28, 2008

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a Trumann man has been sentenced to life in prison on charges of leading a methamphetamine ring in northeast Arkansas.

A news release Thursday from the U.S. attorney's office at Little Rock said 37-year-old John Pascal Soward had pleaded guilty in federal court to drug trafficking and weapons charges. U.S. District Judge James Moody handed down a life sentence for drug trafficking charges as well as a concurrent term of 10 years for firearms offenses.

U.S. attorney Jane Duke said that, during the investigation, authorities seized 77 guns - including one submachine gun and two silencers - and items Soward obtained through the drug ring, such as a motorcycle and some property in Jonesboro.

Soward and 17 others were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from 1997-2006. Duke said all 18 of the named defendants have pleaded guilty. The release from the U.S. attorney's office also said Soward is expected to appear soon in a Craighead County court to enter a plea in a murder case.

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