Man gets 17 years in prison for drugs, gun






A Pulaski County man who pleaded guilty in January in federal court to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and to being a felon in possession of a firearm was sentenced nearly 17 years in prison by a federal judge in Little Rock. Gregory Starks, 36, of Little Rock, was sentenced to 10 years on the firearm count and 16 years, 8 months on the drug count — with the sentences to run concurrently — on Monday by U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky. Starks was arrested Nov. 4, 2020, at a gas station in Little Rock following a domestic disturbance. Court records said that, following the altercation, Starks removed a red bag from his vehicle and placed it behind the building, a move that was captured on surveillance video from the gas station as well as neighboring businesses. When police recovered the bag, records said, they discovered 245 grams of suspected methamphetamine in the bag as well as a Walther 9mm pistol. According to court records, Starks had three prior drug convictions, one prior theft by receiving conviction and one prior domestic battery conviction, all in Pulaski County, dating back to 2008. Starks was initially charged in Pulaski County Circuit Court with possession of firearms by certain persons, simultaneous pos session of drugs and firearms, drug possession with purpose to deliver, theft by receiving and domestic battery. Those charges were dismissed in October 2021 in the wake of Starks’ indictment on the two counts he pleaded to and a third count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On Jan. 27, Starks pleaded guilty to a superseding information in exchange for the government’s agreement to dismiss the count charging him with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Starks’ attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Molly Sullivan, filed a notice of appeal of his sentence immediately following the hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bart Dickinson prosecuted the case. In addition to the 200 month prison term, Rudofsky ordered Starks to serve three years supervised release on each count — to run concurrently — when he leaves prison.