10 People Arrested After NWA Drug Ring Busted

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Ten people face a litany of federal drug charges following a year-long investigation into methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin trafficking in Benton and Washington counties, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

In January and March, federal grand juries returned indictments for multiple counts of distributing and conspiracy to distribute meth, cocaine and heroin against the following suspects:

  • LaQueecha Nicholson, 41, of Fayetteville
  • Derrick Nicholson, 49, of Fayetteville
  • Johnny Nicholson, 43, of Fayetteville
  • Rubin Morrow, 49, of Inglewood, Calif.
  • Derrick Hill, 41, of Springdale
  • Jeffery Hollingsworth, 50, of Fayetteville
  • Gary Smith, 59, of Fayetteville
  • Viola Guyton, 31, of Fayetteville
  • Dustin Sawyer, 27, of Rogers
  • Brian Ivy, 45, of Fayetteville

Investigators  believe the suspects — most of whom live in Northwest Arkansas — have been trafficking the drugs since 2016.

The investigation was a joint effort between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, which has officers at the Springdale Police Department and the Washington and Benton County sheriff’s offices, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

“The FBI Little Rock Field Office is committed to our state, county, and local law enforcement partners in efforts to address methamphetamine trafficking as well as other issues in the state of Arkansas,” said Deb Green, spokeswoman for the field office.

“Arrests such as the ones made on March 1 shows our mutual and strong commitment to each other as well as the great citizens of our state.”

All 10 suspects have pleaded not guilty to the indictment. The group has hearings set for April, May and June in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville.

Nine of the suspects were being held Wednesday (March 21) at the Washington County Detention Center on federal holds. Guyton is free on a $5,000 bond.

Assistant U.S. attorney David Harris is prosecuting the case for the Western District of Arkansas.