They're charged with conspiring to distribute, or to possess with intent to distribute, more than 100 grams of heroin from May 1, 2011, through June 26, 2012,
Four of those indicted are from Cabot:
Wallando "Wiley" Onezine, 40
Justin Pennock, 28,
Alex Evans, 22,
Devon McClain, 19,
The other four are identified as Keith "Key" Sanders, 25, of Memphis; Hunter Gladden, 25, of Ward; Mark Aaron "Zane" Pruitt, 22, of Jacksonville; and Landon Cope, 21, of Little Rock.
The indictments were announced by Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and William J. Bryant, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
"The arrest and indictment of these eight men is just the beginning of our efforts to remove those who distribute heroin not only in Cabot and Lonoke County, but wherever else this dangerous, addictive drug is being peddled. Since last fall, there have been nine reported incidents involving young men and women overdosing on heroin, two of which resulted in the loss of life. I encourage parents to learn what signs to look for and pay close attention to the activities and behavior of their sons and daughters. Teach your children about the consequences of drug experimentation and notify local authorities of any suspected drug dealing in your community," stated Thyer.
"The State of Arkansas is experiencing the same trends as other states, in which people are abusing prescription pain pills containing opiates and develop an opiate addiction," said Bryant. "Some of these people then turn to heroin. As you can see in this case, this trend produces fatal consequences in our community."
Onezine and Cope are charged with distributing heroin on October 27, 2011, which resulted in the death of an individual identified in court documents only as J.M.
Onezine is also charged, along with Pennock, with distributing heroin on March 23, 2012, which resulted in the death of an individual identified in court documents only as D.H.
Onezine, McClain, and Pruitt are also charged with distributing heroin on March 29, 2012. McClain is also charged with distributing heroin on May 9, 2012.
Onezine is also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm, on June 26, 2012.
Onezine, McClain, Pruitt, Pennock, Evans, and Gladden have all been arrested, but Sanders and Cope are still at large.
Sanders is charged with possessing heroin on February 22, 2012, with the intent to distribute it.
Evans is charged with distributing heroin on March 19, 2012.
If convicted of conspiring to distribute or possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, the use of which resulted in death, or distributing heroin, the use of which resulted in death, the defendants will face a sentence of not less than 20 years to life imprisonment. Any sentence for those counts can be enhanced to an automatic sentence of life imprisonment if the defendant has a prior, final conviction for a felony drug offense.
The investigation was conducted by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Arkansas State Police, the Cabot Police Department, the Ward Police Department, the Maumelle Police Department, the Austin Police Department, the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office, Conway County Sheriff's Office and the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office.
To report Sanders' or Cope's whereabouts, call the DEA at (501) 217-6500.