One of the 36 alleged drug traffickers arrested in September as part of the multiagency law enforcement sting dubbed Operation Ice Storm pleaded guilty Monday to felony charges in Garland County Circuit Court.
Phillip Charles Hefner, 40, of Amity, who had remained in custody in lieu of $30,000 bond since his arrest Sept. 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of delivery of meth and was sentenced to eight years' supervised probation on each count to run concurrently, while two additional felony counts of unlawful use of a communications device were withdrawn.
Hefner was also fined a total of $2,000 and ordered to pay $295 in court costs. If Hefner were to violate the terms of his probation, he could face up to 40 years in prison, Deputy Prosecutor Trent Daniels said Monday.
Daniels noted Hefner had agreed to plead guilty without prosecutors having to reveal the confidential informant used in his case.
Hefner "was not a high-level dealer," Daniels said, "but we wanted to get a felony conviction against him. He only had one prior felony and that was from 11 years ago. This allows us to keep track of him if he was to start dealing again."
According to the affidavit, between Aug. 1 and Sept. 20, 2017, agents with the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force used an informant to make two controlled purchases of meth from Hefner. Each purchase was more than 2 grams, but less than 10. Both purchases were arranged through cellphone conversations.
The operation, involving DTF agents, Hot Springs police, Arkansas State Police, Garland County Sheriff's investigators, and Homeland Security, reportedly took more than $1 million of drugs off the streets, including more than 30 pounds of meth, two ounces of powder cocaine, 31 ecstasy pills, 141 "controlled pharmaceuticals" and 17 firearms, all taken from previously convicted felons prohibited by law from possessing firearms.Local on 11/28/2017
Print Headline: Amity man arrested in Operation Ice Storm pleads guilty