LITTLE ROCK — Two multi-convicted felons will spend the next 180 months in federal prison for illegally possessing a firearm. Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced the sentences, which were handed down today in federal court. Demarcus King, 35, of North Little Rock, was sentenced by United States District Judge Kristine G. Baker, and Larry Anthony Smith, 49, of Little Rock, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge D.P. Marshall, Jr.

Both King and Smith are considered armed career criminals, which means their criminal histories include at least three prior convictions for a violent felony, serious drug offense, or both. As armed career criminals, each defendant was subject to a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence, which is what each received. King admitted prior convictions for delivery of cocaine, residential burglary, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of cocaine and alprazolam (Xanax) with purpose to deliver. Smith admitted prior convictions for 2nd degree murder, theft by receiving, 2nd degree battery (twice), forgery, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of firearms by certain persons, and possession of cocaine. Both defendants were sentenced to three years of supervised release to follow their 15-year prison sentences.

“These two cases are perfect examples of how we can use the federal system to target the most violent offenders,” stated U.S. Attorney Hiland. “These career criminals will spend 15 years in prison, where they will no longer create chaos and danger in our communities. Violent felons should take note that we can and will seek these lengthy sentences for those who make a career out of committing violent crime.”

King pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm on January 17, 2020. At that hearing, King admitted that on December 4, 2017, he reported to his state parole officer for a scheduled office visit. The parole officer decided to conduct a routine parole search, as King had a signed search waiver on file as part of his probation. On the way to the residence, King suddenly became unresponsive and was transported by ambulance to a hospital. Other officers proceeded to King’s residence, where his mother provided consent for them to enter and search. His mother identified King’s room and told officers that no one else used that bedroom. Inside King’s bedroom, officers found a nine-millimeter Glock pistol, which was loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition and one in the chamber.

Smith pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm on March 3, 2020. At that hearing, Smith admitted that on July 12, 2018, police were called due to a disturbance at a residence. When officers arrived, Smith came to the door holding a black .38 caliber revolver, which was loaded with four live rounds. Smith provided a false name and birthdate to police and was eventually taken into custody.

These cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Department of Justice initiative designed to create and foster safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in violent crime, including addressing criminal gangs and the felonious possession and use of firearms. The program has been effective in reducing violent crime because of the ongoing coordination, cooperation, and partnerships of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

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