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Federal Law Enforcement Focuses on Violent Crime in Helena-West Helena

23 Defendants Charged in Federal Indictments; More to Come

LITTLE ROCK—The FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas have announced their increased focus on prosecuting violent crime in Helena-West Helena. United States Attorney Jonathan D. Ross announced today that 25 defendants in the Helena-West Helena area have been charged in federal indictments alleging various violent crimes including felon in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen bank funds, and interstate travel to have sex with a minor.

The most recent of these indictments, handed down by a federal grand jury on March 2, 2022, charges Michael Rogers with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Rogers is being investigated for the shooting that took place at the Helena-West Helena Christmas parade last year, cancelling the parade.

In addition to Rogers, 20 other defendants in the Helena-West Helena area have been charged since 2020 with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Three defendants have already been convicted and are awaiting sentencing: Walter Thornton, Jr.; Raymond Clark; and Carlton Otey. Frank Norton has been convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison, which is the statutory maximum. Nicholas Dismuke has been convicted of both being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and sentenced to more than 18 years in prison. The remaining defendants, listed below, are awaiting trial.

In addition to felon in possession of a firearm cases, three additional defendants are charged with other crimes. Fleming Ivory has been convicted of interstate travel with the intent to engage in sexual conduct with a minor and is awaiting sentencing. Vann Bragg has been indicted for conspiracy to possess stolen bank funds and is awaiting trial, and Dedrick Bragg has been convicted of the same charge and is awaiting sentencing.

“These cases signify the presence of federal law enforcement in Helena-West Helena and the surrounding communities,” stated Ross. “Local communities deserve to be free from the effects of violence, and we will swiftly and forcefully respond to make communities in our district safer. There will be more prosecutions to come, and criminals in the Delta should know that we will not tolerate their violence and disregard of the law.”

“The FBI is working closely with local and state police agencies to combat the scourge of violent crime,” said FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson. “To the criminals operating in the Delta, be warned— an arsenal of federal resources now opposes you. Alongside our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will bring the full weight of the federal government down on the violent gangs terrorizing our Delta communities.”

The FBI is working these cases with the assistance of the Helena-West Helena Police Department. The cases are being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

The defendants awaiting trial for being a felon in possession of a firearm are:

- Michael Rogers;

- Demario Richardson;

- Xavier Hudson;

- Antonio Dolphin;

- Donterious Troope;

- Demarico Hay;

- Tylin Ezell;

- JC Watson;

- Macon Carter, Jr.;

- Macon Carter, Sr.;

- Treavie Shears;

- Deonta Miller;

- Timothy McNeely;

- Keith Taylor;

- Kenneth Page; and,

- Shannon Williams.