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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Drug conviction in federal court costs Van Buren meth dealer 130 months without chance of parole

A Van Buren man was sentenced today to 130 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Distribute. The Honorable P.K. Holmes, III presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fort Smith.

According to court documents, in September 2022, a patrol officer with Van Buren Police Department attempted to perform a traffic stop on Philip Ray Jones, age 44. Jones failed to pull over and a high-speed chase ensued.

Ultimately Jones abandoned his vehicle in a residential area and tried to flee on foot. During the foot pursuit Jones dropped a bag on the ground. A search of Jones and the bag yielded methamphetamine, cash, a digital scale and other illegal controlled substances.

Jones has a long history of arrests in Sebastian County and was sent to the Arkansas Department of Corrections in 2018 on a myriad of drug charges and for carrying a weapon.

Booking records from the Sebatian County Detention Center show he returned to testify in various cases three times before the end of 2019 and was released sometime before his 2022 arrest on the federal charges that eraned him ten-plus years in prison this week.

U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Van Buren Police Department and Crawford County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carly Marshall and Tyler Williams prosecuted the case.

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