Fort Smith Pair Sentenced For Drug Trafficking

Garcia, Escalante

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Two Fort Smith men were sentenced Wednesday (Sept. 12) to over 32 years in federal prison for trafficking methamphetamine.

Jose Escalante, 36, received more than 16 years in prison followed by five year of supervised release for one count of conspiracy to distribute meth.

Jose Alonso Garcia, 38, got more than 15 years to be followed by five years of supervised release for one count of aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute meth.

According to court records, in September 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) learned that Escalante was distributing methamphetamine in the Fort Smith area.

DEA agents arranged and conducted multiple controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Escalante, one of which was set up with Garcia.  

The substance purchased was sent to the DEA South Central Laboratory for testing, and the lab determined that the substance contained actual methamphetamine.

Escalante and Garcia were indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2018. Escalante entered a guilty plea in May 2018 and Garcia entered a guilty plea in April 2018.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Smith Police Department, Barling Police Department, Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office, Van Buren Police Department and the 12th/21st Judicial District Drug Task Force.

Assistant U.S. attorney Candace Taylor prosecuted the case.

Judge P.K. Holmes, III presided over the sentencing hearings.