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Four sentenced on drug charges stemming from 'Operation Stateline Sweep'

By David Harten

This article was published August 29, 2013 at 6:18 p.m.

Four southwestern Arkansas men were sentenced Thursday on drug trafficking charges that came as a result of a federal bust.

According to a news release from the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Arkansas, all four men received sentences ranging from three to 10 years on charges they took part in a drug-trafficking ring. The sentencing came as a part of "Operation Stateline Sweep," an investigation that includes 66 defendants and a 190-count indictment handed up in September 2011.

Aarius Cooks, 24, of Texarkana was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after he was found guilty of conspiring to distribute more than 280 grams of cocaine, according to the release. A federal investigation concluded that Cooks, who is a member of the criminal enterprise known as "Four Block," attempted to obstruct justice by lying to investigators.

Cooks, who also received five years supervised release, is eligible for parole after five years.

Willie Ray Gilliam, 28, of Nashville was sentenced to seven years in prison without the possibility of parole on charges that he distributed crack cocaine. The release added that Gilliam had two prior felony convictions that were considered during his sentencing. Gilliam also was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

A third man, Taveas Green, 31, of Texarkana was sentenced to five years in prison without parole and four years of supervised release for distributing more than 28 grams of cocaine, the release states. The final defendant in the case, Willie Tatum, 27, of Texarkana received a three year prison sentence without parole and an additional four years of supervised release on charges he distributed crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a public housing authority, according to the release.

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