9 arrested on federal drug charges Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo। -- The United States Attorney's Office announced today that nine people have been indicted for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. The indictment alleges that the activities took place between June 2010 and May 2011 in Dunklin County, Mo., and elsewhere.

According to the United States Attorney's Office, six residents of Kennett -- David Parker, Lamar White, Michael Caruthers, Jo Devon Maxwell, Clarence Pulliam, and Sidney Denham, Jr. -- two residents of Poplar Bluff, Mo., -- Hinton Gilmer, Jr., and David Harley -- and one Blytheville, Ark., resident -- Randy Caruthers -- were indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony county of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base. Parker was also charged with two counts of distributing 28 grams or more of cocaine base.

If convicted of the conspiracy charge, each defendant faces a minimum term of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and/or fines up to $10,000,000. If convicted, Parker also faces a minimum term of five years

imprisonment and a maximum penalty of forty years imprisonment and/or fines up to $5,000,000 for the two additional charges.

In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

"This is one of the largest drug busts in Missouri's bootheel," said Special Agent in Charge Dennis L. Baker of the FBI St. Louis Division. "The indictment alleges activities in a one-year period, but is the result of an investigation that has been on-going for years. Today's arrests will take a significant amount of drugs off the streets and positively impact the community."

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Bootheel Drug Task Force, the Kennett Police Department, the Poplar Bluff Police Department, and the Dunklin County Sheriff's Office and Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul W. Hahn is handling the case for the U. S. Attorney's Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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