Federal charges filed against drug suspect

Monday, April 7, 2003

Luther "Sonny" Summers, 41, already facing numerous drug charges and other charges, is now facing federal charges related to his alleged possession of methamphetamine and an arsenal of firearms.

Investigator Larry Marr said Wednesday that the U.S. federal magistrate in Fort Smith had filed a hold on Summers, and after he is tried on local charges, he faces federal charges of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.

Marr said federal authorities became interested in the case because of the large amount of meth allegedly found in Summers' possession, and the fact that he had many firearms at the time of his Feb. 22 arrest at his home near Hugh, east of Green Forest.

Marr said the federal system is tougher than the state on people convicted of distribution of drugs and simultaneous possession of firearms.

"On those charges, if convicted, he would have to serve 100 percent of his time ---- no parole and no early-out," Marr said.

Summers faces multiple charges in Carroll County, including three counts of delivery of a controlled substance, possession of meth with intent to deliver, simultaneous possession of guns and drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and other drug charges related to the case, which has been under investigation since last year.

Several large meth buys were allegedly accomplished by confidential informants and an undercover officer in November and December of last year.

The Feb. 22 early-morning raid on a Saturday by the Carroll County Sheriff's Office resulted in the arrest of Summers and Laurie McMillan, 28, of the same address, who was charged with possession of an instrument of crime and carrying a prohibited weapon. She was released on $775 bond.

Summers was released on $75,000 bond on Feb. 24, which included a no-contact order to protect witnesses.

He was arrested the next day, after allegedly threatening a witness.

He is still in custody at Carroll County Jail, with bond now set at $250,000.

The Feb. 22 raid led to the seizure of a large amount of methamphetamine, an arsenal of rifles and pistols, all-terrain vehicles, a cattle trailer, a motorcycle, and a pickup truck.

Sheriff Chuck Medford and the deputies served the warrant at the residence of Summers, on Parrot Road near Hugh.

Told by the woman at the residence that Summers was feeding his cattle, Dep. Daniel Klatt saw the suspect and pulled him over. Klatt said there was a loaded pistol and .22 magnum rifle within Summers' reach, Medford said.

While searching the suspect, Klatt allegedly found two large balls of methamphetamine in Summers' pocket, weighing about two ounces or more. Summers was taken to jail, while the other officers continued the search of the house.

Investigator Marr said the suspect was taken without resistance, with the help of undercover Arkansas State Police. Officers allegedly found more drugs and paraphernalia, and approximately 27 firearms, one of them allegedly stolen.

One deputy said almost every firearm was loaded and ready to fire.

Including the three undercover buys and the meth allegedly found in Summers' pocket, there was a total of about eight ounces of methamphetamine, court records indicate.

Under state law, police agencies can seize vehicles found on the premises in such an arrest.

Marr said the investigation is continuing. More charges could be added. A large amount of what is suspected to be prescription pain narcotics is being tested by the state police crime lab.

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