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Washington County man facing 12-year prison sentence for drug charges

Luis Gabriel Cardenas was pulled over while in possession of methamphetamine and has been sentenced to over 12 years for drug trafficking.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — A Washington County man has reportedly been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. 

Luis Gabriel Cardenas, 35, was pulled over for speeding by a Tontitown police officer on Oct. 22, 2021, according to court documents.

Cardenas initially attempted to speed off, and later tried to crash into the pursuing officer's car. While turning a corner at high speed, Cardenas's vehicle overturned.

When the officer approached the car, they were unable to see Cardenas through tinted windows. Cardenas was asked if there was a gun in the vehicle to which Cardenas responded, "Yes."

The officer broke the driver's side window to communicate with Cardenas who appeared trapped and injured. 

The officer asked Cardenas for the location of the gun, to which Cardenas said it was in a nearby backpack. A search of the backpack revealed a loaded firearm and multiple plastic bags of methamphetamine.

The suspected drugs were sent to the Homeland Security Investigations Crime Laboratory where they tested positive for meth. 

The investigation that followed was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence. 

After Cardenas is released he will still have three years of supervision.

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